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SBE Council News & Update: Small Business Week 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014  
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SBE Council News & Update
 
Small Business Week 2014 #SBW2014
 
 
SBE Council is a cosponsor and partner of National Small Business Week 2014, a yearly celebration of small business and entrepreneurs and the critical role they play in America’s economy. Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week.  This year, the week is May 12-16. 
 
SBA is hosting events in four cities – San Francisco, Kansas City, Boston and Washington, D.C. – as well as online programs and “how to” webinars for entrepreneurs everywhere.  You can learn more, and sign up for events by clicking here. In the nation’s capital, SBE Council staff and members will participate in events honoring exceptional entrepreneurs.  SBE Council will also release surveys and briefs on critical issues, as well as policy ideas and solutions to help entrepreneurs better navigate the challenging business environment.
 
Happy Small Business Week to all of our members! Follow us @SBECouncil #SBW2014 #SmallBiz

 
 
FCC Vote on May 15: Spectrum Auction or Political Set Asides?

 
In the latest Technology & Entrepreneurs brief, SBE Council Chief Economist Ray Keating writes about the importance of broadband services for small businesses.  He notes that investing and innovation when it comes to broadband infrastructure are of vital importance to entrepreneurs. Therefore, how the FCC treats auctions to free up spectrum is a major concern.
 
Unfortunately, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is taking a political rather than market-oriented approach to a forthcoming auction. The plan undercuts taxpayers as well as broadband consumers. It includes set-asides for “small” players, who are not small at all. Rather, they are big companies owned by big international interests who don’t need our government picking winners and losers on their behalf.  A full FCC vote is scheduled for May 15 on the flawed auction plan.

 
 
 
House Approves Bill Making R&D Tax Credit Permanent, Stronger
 
On May 9, the House voted to improve and make permanent the R&D tax credit – which Congress has renewed 14 times – by passing the American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2014, H.R. 4438.
 
Small businesses will especially benefit from H.R. 4438 says SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan.  As she noted in a letter to every member of the U.S. House in support of the legislation:  “Making permanent tax incentives that encourage investment – particularly on R&D – would align with how entrepreneurs plan, and how they can capture expenses to take advantage of the credit.  H.R. 4438 will allow small firms to more confidently plan for expenditures on hiring and investment, which specifically relate to R&D. This will make them more competitive, while encouraging hiring and spending that enable innovation and economic growth.”
 
The House Committee on Ways and Means “Tax Tracker” reported (on passage of H.R. 4438):
 
274 total number of “aye” votes
68 percent voted in support of the bill
62 Democrats voted for the bill 
1/3 of Ways and Means Committee Democrats voted for the bill
 
The Senate Finance Committee approved a two-year renewal of the credit, along with the extension of 55 other tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013.   The House and Senate are taking different paths on how to deal with provisions that have expired.  The House Ways and Means Committee approved  making permanent the R&D tax credit plus five other tax provisions. Expanded Section 179 expensing is one of those provisions.

 
 
Wanted for National Small Business Week: Regulatory Sanity

 
National Small Business Week is May 12-16.  The week honoring small business is an ideal time for elected officials, policy leaders and regulators to support long-standing legislative initiatives that would lessen the impact of excessive government regulation on America’s entrepreneurs.
 
SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan covers why this is important in a blog post, as well as several legislative solutions that would help small business and the economy.

 
 
Keating’s World: The Latest Economic Data and Small Business
 
Labor Productivity Woes Continue:  The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest labor productivity numbers on May 7. According to SBE Council chief economist Ray Keating, the data was not pretty. This spells trouble for economic and income growth.
 
Drilling Down on the Latest Consumer Credit Data: Keating shares three key points about the latest consumer credit numbers, which should serve as a reminder about the state of the economy.
 
GDP and the Weather:  First quarter GDP was worse than weak, and guess what, it had nothing to do with the weather. Keating provides the details, and concludes, “It’s not the weather; it’s the policy climate.”
 
Key Points on April Jobs Report: What are the key takeaways from the employment data? They’re not the same ones being emphasized in the media.

 
3 Big Mistakes the Fed Continues to Make: In its April 30 statement, the Federal Open Market Committee reaffirmed the mistakes it has been inflicting on the economy for more than five-and-a-half years.
 
 
Business Success Strategies with Barbara Weltman:  Non-Compete Agreements…When to Use Them, How to Enforce Them
 
Small business expert and SBE Council advisory board member Barbara Weltman reminds business owners in her latest advice column that almost every company has “valuable property interests that you can’t see, feel, smell, or taste, such as your customer lists, trade secrets, and upcoming product launches.”
 
Barbara says the best way to protect interests “from being used by employees after they leave your company is to have them sign a non-compete agreement.”  In this Business Success Strategies piece, Barbara tells you where to begin, such as knowing what interests can be protected and the important steps and action that follow.
 
 
 


Energy & Entrepreneurs: LNG Exports & Keystone

 
LNG ExportsIn a Downstream Today oped, SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan writes that it’s time to speed up the LNG exports approval process: “For every day those applications hang in limbo, new capital investment stays on the sidelines, which also dries up new job opportunities. Further, we are positioning the United States as a country hostile to new business investment – as we’ve already shown with the Keystone XL pipeline – and what’s more, we are signaling that the petty processes of the bureaucracy trump the urgent needs of Ukraine and Eastern Europe, which are heavily dependent on Russia for natural gas.”
 
Keystone Pipeline and the Polls: Chief economist Ray Keating looks at the latest poll results on building the Keystone XL pipeline. Perhaps President Obama should take a look as well?
 
Sanity in the U.S. Senate on Keystone Would Benefit Small Biz:  Chief economist Ray Keating compares the Obama Administration’s ongoing political games regarding the Keystone XL pipeline to the sound, pro-small business, pro-worker legislation to approve the pipeline offered by U.S. Senators John Hoeven, a North Dakota Republican, and Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat.

 
 
Celebrate National Small Business Week 2014 with
 

Yes, really….the IRS is hosting two FREE webinars for small business owners to mark Small Business Week.
 
On Tuesday, May 13, 2:00 p.m. ET:
 “Payments to Independent Contractors”   Topics include:
 
• Payments to Independent Contractors
• Form 1099 filing requirements
• Backup withholding and how to avoid being liable for it
• CP 2100 Notices for payee name and TIN mismatches
 
 
On Thursday, May 15, 2:00 p.m. ET:
"Avoiding the Biggest Tax Mistakes”  Topics include:
 
• Learn about the biggest tax mistakes and how to avoid them
• How to detect common tax schemes and unscrupulous tax preparers
 
Both events will run for one hour, and offer live Q&A sessions with IRS experts. To register and to find out more visit the Webinars for Small Business page on IRS.gov.

 
 
 
Center for Regulations Solutions (CRS)
 
SAVE THE DATE, May 19 -- CRS to Host Hill Event On CFPB:  SBE Council’s CRS will host a Capitol Hill discussion titled, “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: How Unchecked Power is Harming Small Businesses and Economic Growth.”  The event is Monday, May 19th, 1:30 PM EST to 3:00 PM, H-139, U.S. Capitol. Speakers TBA. 
 
CRS Oped in The Hill:  CRS senior advisor Kevin Nyland writes that the Clean Air Act Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC), which provides advice to the EPA administrator about air quality standards, “is required by the Clean Air Act to report on the costs associated with implementing new – and in this case, more stringent- standards.”  CASAC is also required to do a lot of other things, which they are not doing. And, the EPA refuses to disclose the scientific and underlying data used to develop what could be the most expensive regulation in U.S. history.  
 
Bipartisan Support Grows for Expediting LNG Exports:  On May 2 five Senate Democrats sent a letter to President Obama urging him to take action and untangle the bureaucratic cobwebs piling up at the Department of Energy (DOE) as regulators continue to sit on over two dozen pending applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG). The message of urgency underlines the growing bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for LNG exports, particularly due to significant economic benefits for the U.S. and what Russia’s aggression in Ukraine represents.  CRS and SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan covers the details of that letter here.
 
Thune Offers Amendment to Stop EPA’s Excessive Rule on Ozone: CRS applauded Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) for introducing an amendment to the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency legislation that would stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stringent and unrealistic ozone standard, which by EPA’s own estimate could cost the economy up to $90 billion a year.  Small businesses operating in areas that don’t meet the more stringent standard can expect greater bureaucratic intrusions, more fees, and permitting delays.  Read Karen Kerrigan’s statement and background about the ozone rule here.
 
U.S. Regulatory Costs Keep Climbing:  In a blog post, CRS highlighted the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI’s) latest edition of “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Regulatory State.” Wayne Crews, author of the report, found the per-household cost of regulation is $15,000, and the per-employee cost of regulation is $10,585 for a small business.
 
EPA Water Rule Will Mean More Permits, More Delays, Higher Energy Costs:  EPA is moving under the Clean Water Act to broadly expand the bodies of water it can regulate.  Under its current proposal, roadside ditches can be categorized as “waters of the U.S.” Karen Kerrigan covers additional details here.
 
Water Rule Adds to Flood of Regulation: EPA’s Latest Overreach:  In more news about the “waters rule,” Karen Kerrigan notes that House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves has activated Small Biz Reg Watch on this proposed regulation to capture the voice and concerns of small business owners and entrepreneurs.

 
 
State Taxes Matter When It Comes to Job Creation

 
Chief economist Ray Keating opens a recent Cybercolumn: “The rate of job creation has been simply abysmal in the U.S. since the start of the last recession and during this subsequent recovery.” Keating, however, goes on to show that the job story varies notably from state to state.  It turns out that the top states on the “Small Business Tax Index 2014” generally do far better on job creation than high-tax states.
 
 
Business Success Strategies Q&A 
Successful and growing businesses effectively use media and public relations to help build their brands, drive customer interest and traffic, and reach their target market. PR is an affordable and efficient tool that can pay off if entrepreneurs take the right approach in developing  – and executing on – a practical and thoughtful plan.

In this edition ofBusiness Success Strategies Q&A, PR expert Joy Schoffler shares her wisdom and advice about ways that small businesses can deploy effective PR strategies and access media.

 
 
Trade, Technology & IP:  Vice President Biden, International Counterfeiting and Protecting IP 
 
Biden Gets it Right on IP: Vice President Joe Biden often makes headlines for saying some cringe-worthy things, but he certainly got it right at the Creativity Conference when he addressed the issue of protecting intellectual property. Read more here.
 
Counterfeiting a Big Problem for Small Biz: Is counterfeiting in the international marketplace just a problem for big businesses? Absolutely not. As noted in the latest SBE Council Technology & IP analysis, it’s clear that this is a big challenge for small businesses.

 
Obama and the Trans-Pacific Partnership:  In the latest SBE Council Technology & IP analysis, chief economist Ray Keating writes, “President Obama’s journey on trade has been a very slow move in the right direction, but problems with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade accord show that he still has a very long way to go." See why the TPP matters, and where things stand on this important trade accord.
 
 
 
Small Business Odd & Ends
 
Repairing Obamacare: SBE Council supported The Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act (H.R. 4414), which passed the House 268-150.  Read the support letter here.
 
Cleaning Up Government Waste:  SBE Council is supporting the Government Reports Elimination Act (H.R. 4194). Read the support letter here.
 
WW#SmallBiz Do?  Definitely not give bonuses to employees who violate the law or company policies.  But that’s what the IRS did.  Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and fellow Senate Finance Committee members sent a letter to the IRS commissioner demanding some answers.  Legislation has been introduced to stop this practice.
 
To visit SBE Council’s Letters to Congress section to see what we are supporting – or opposing – please click here.



HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO OUR WBO MEMBERS - and all those Moms who support entrepreneurs!

 

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