Protect programs that incentivize entrepreneurship to boost our economy. Remember, today’s small business could be tomorrow’s major employer, and even if they choose to stay small, increased entrepreneurship will help foster innovation, create jobs and bring in additional revenue. Help the small-business community fuel the economy with long-term policies, not just short-term “fixes.”
These policies can simply be a few tweaks to existing law. Last year’s tax cuts included a payroll tax holiday that benefited employees, and the president has talked about extending the benefit to employers, too. Since the self-employed pay both the employee and employer portions of the payroll tax, extending the payroll tax break to employers and specifically including the self-employed would help.
Small businesses would also benefit from making the temporary health insurance deduction in last year’s Small Business Jobs Act permanent. They should be able to deduct the cost of coverage, just like larger businesses have always been able to do. These aren’t major policy reforms, but a little boost goes a long way when you are small.
Finally, go where few have gone before — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and defense spending. Most self-employed Americans are willing to make some sacrifices if it means that our policymakers will proactively address the deficit and that our nation’s economy would improve.
America’s smallest businesses know that no one fix will turn the economy around, but ask that the president and Congress keep two simple questions in mind: Will this change help small-business owners keep their doors open and grow? Will it encourage others to go after their American dream?
If our political leaders believe their own mantra that small businesses are the engine of the economy, then the answer to these questions had better be yes.
Kristie Arslan is president and CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.