September 2014

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Newsletter: September, 2014

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Letter from John Arensmeyer

In Washington we hear a lot about how small business is the backbone of the economy. But with a gridlocked Congress, lately that saying has become nothing more than a feel-good bromide lawmakers use to check a box on the campaign trail—not something guiding their economic agendas. Small businesses aren’t just the backbone of our economy, they’re its foundation, and to put our economy back on track we need policies that put small business at the center.

That’s why last month we released the Economic Agenda for America’s Future, which outlines policies that will strengthen the economy and its base, small businesses. The Agenda outlines things Washington can do to bolster small business—including short and long-term policy recommendations lawmakers can act on now and in the future that will drive economic growth, job creation and competitiveness.

We’re doing all we can to make more good-for-small business solutions happen. Read more in our Economic Agenda, and remember you can get updates any time at www.smallbusinessmajority.org.

The Agenda for America’s Economic Future

On September 16, Small Business Majority released its Economic Agenda for America’s Future, a set of short and long-term policy recommendations government leaders can follow to ensure an environment where entrepreneurs, and our economy, can thrive.

The recommendations range from action on taxes, access to capital, infrastructure, healthcare, immigration, minimum wage, workforce training, clean energy and exports, and are all tied to creating economic opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Agenda outlines things Washington can do over the next couple months that will create greater opportunity for entrepreneurs, which include:

USA Today:

Self-employed give thumbs up to Obamacare

Small Business Majority’s California Director and Healthcare Policy Director David Chase contributed to an article in USA Today about how the new health insurance marketplaces are helping more people become self-employed and start their own businesses. Entrepreneurs are finding reasonably-priced medical plans through the individual marketplaces that are enabling them to leave their traditional jobs to launch companies, grow their businesses and create new jobs.

5 states getting early access to online enrollment through SHOP

On September 3, the Department of Health and Human Services announced it will provide five states early access to the online portion of the small business health insurance marketplaces. This will allow small business owners in those states to provide critical feedback on ways to improve the system, prior to the national online roll-out on November 15. Small Business Majority is working hand-in-hand with HHS to spearhead this rollout.

This measured trial-run will allow small businesses in Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, Delaware and Ohio with fewer than 50 employees to shop for, select, enroll and offer employees high quality health coverage online. It will be imperative that the Administration listen to all the initial feedback, to ensure that the online marketplaces operate as smoothly as possible when it is made available for all states where the federal government is running the small business marketplaces. Learn more about the early rollout in our statement  

Small business attitudes on workplace wellness programs

 On September 10, Small Business Majority released a report showing small business owners are interested in workplace wellness programs and believe they would be good for workers and business.

 The report found there is significant potential to expand workplace wellness programs to a large share of the small business community. What’s more, small business owners want the best for their employees, and they see wellness programs as an opportunity to promote the health and wellness of the people who are vital to their business’ success. Read the full findings here.

Clean energy update

 On September 18, we sent a letter to Governor Kasich urging him to support Ohio’s clean energy economy by engaging with the Environmental Protection Agenda as it moves forward with setting standards for existing power plants under the Clean Air Act.

 The comment period for EPA’s proposed rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants has been extended to December 1, and Small Business Majority will be submitting comments. If any small business owners would like to submit comments themselves on the proposed rule, click here.

Small businesses commit to youth opportunity

In June, we launched our national sign-on campaign to garner 100 small employers to pledge to help bridge the gap between youth who are out of school and out of work, and small businesses having a hard time filling entry-level positions.

As our campaign wraps up at the end of this month, we’re pleased to announce that nearly 150 small employers have pledged to take actions to create opportunities for our youth, including 6 business champions whose testimonials can be found on our opportunity youth website.

Though our sign-on pledge is coming to a close, we’re continuing our work helping small employers identify ways they can create meaningful opportunities for our nation’s youth. We’re partnering with the Grads of Life campaign that just launched this month to bring the small business voice to a new, national conversation about creating professional opportunities for unemployed youth.

Logn-term Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank

The Export-Import Bank’s charter was set to expire at the end of this month, and while Congress has given the bank a temporary reprieve until June 2015, it’s imperative that Congress pass long-term reauthorization of the bank to ensure small businesses have access to global markets.

The Ex-Im Bank gives small businesses an edge by leveling the playing field between small firms and their larger counterparts. Many small businesses rely on the bank because commercial lenders typically don’t support small businesses in this area. In fact, nearly 90 percent of Ex-Im Bank’s transactions in 2013 were for American small businesses.

Small business owners have been taking to the Internet to show their support for long-term reauthorization of the bank using Small Business Majority’s Ex-Im Thought Bank. This website allows small business owners to share their experiences with the Ex-Im Bank and have their comments sent directly to Members of Congress. What’s more, our Economic Agenda points to long-term reauthorization of the bank as a step Washington can take now to help bolster small businesses.

#SmallBizSay #RaiseTheWage

We’re using a new social media platform called a Thunderclap to bring together small business owners, advocates and business organizations to show their support for raising the minimum wage. Similar to an “online flash mob,” Thunderclap allows participants everywhere to voice their support for a particular campaign at the same time through social media.

Here’s how you can get involved: sign up and Thunderclap will post a one-time message on your social media networks on Friday, October 10 at 1:00 pm EDT. Thunderclap will only have permission to post this one message to your news feed, and you can opt out at any time. After that, your work is done; the message will automatically post to participants’ walls and feeds at the same time.

To get involved, sign up to join our Thunderclap, and share the link with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter so we can get as many people to participate as possible.

Please share this newsletter with any other business owners or members of business groups!

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Long-term Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank

Please take a moment to visit our website and share your thoughts on why the Ex-Im Bank is important to small business success.

#SmallBizSay #RaiseTheWage

We’re using Thunderclap to bring together small business owners, advocates and business organizations to show their support for raising the minimum wage.

To get involved, sign up to join our Thunderclap, and share the link with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter so we can get as many people to participate as possible.

Download our minimum wage infographic

News Clips

  Battle over Proposition 45 a blast from the past

San Jose Mercury News

9.26.2014

  Podcast – John Arensmeyer

1070 WINA

9.18.2014

  Fix immigration problem and level the playing field

Bakersfield Californian

9.18.2014

  Local attractions support local vendors

Press Enterprise

9.18.2014

  Health care event geared toward biz owners

The Business Journal

9.17.2014

  Program urges small businesses to hire youth

Statesman Journal

9.9.2014

  Interview – Southern California Outreach Manager Marcia Davalos

Time Warner Cable Local Edition

9.9.2014

  Climate change costs

Kansas City Star

8.25.2014

  Ex-Im bank helps small businesses

Washington Times

8.18.2014

  High-tech startup challenges insurance industry

San Jose Mercury News

8.12.2014

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Published by Small Business Majority - Smallbusinessmajority.org - 866-597-7431

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