SBE Council eNews
News, Resources and Issue Update
In this Edition:
National Small Business Week 2015 • Four Key Points on GDP • Weltman: Is Your Business EMV Ready? • Solovic on “Twitter Engagement” and “Hurry Sickness” (WSJ TV) • Business Tips & Trends News Highlights • Center for Regulatory Solutions: Secret Science Reform, the Latest on Ozone, SCRUB the Regulatory System, Reg Reform-Canadian Style • A Progress Report from the GOP House Leadership • More from Capitol Hill: “Ambush Elections” Override, the “Yellow Pages Test” Bill, Update on Trade and TPA, Energy and Exports, Tax Reform • IP: Small Biz Hollywood Fights Piracy, How You Can Fight IP Theft, Problems with the USTR’s 301 Annual Report • Keating’s Corner: Fed’s “Transitory Factors,” Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Durable Goods, Six Month Report on Federal Budget
National Small Business Week 2015, May 4-8
It’s National Small Business Week 2015, and SBE Council is pleased to partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for this annual event. Along with other organizations and private sector partners, SBE Council will celebrate and “recognize the contributions of small businesses to the competitiveness of the American economy” as President Barack Obamanoted in his presidential proclamation. For SBE Council it is also an opportunity to continue our advocacy for pro-entrepreneur policies to encourage more startups and help small businesses grow and succeed.
As SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigansaid in a press releaseabout the importance of National Small Business Week, more than words are needed to bolster risk-taking and stronger small businesses. Bold actions on the tax, regulatory, and trade fronts will foster entrepreneurial success, which will lead to sustained growth for the U.S. economy.
Here is the line up of SBA’sFree webinars during the week, andevents taking place across the country.
Follow SBE Council on twitter @SBECouncil andFacebookfor daily updates. You can also follow @SBAgov and other happenings using the hash tags #DreamSmallBiz and #SBW2015.
4 Key Points About the GDP Report
SBE Council chief economist Ray Keatingpicks apart the latest poor GDP report, which was released last week on April 29.Keating notes four key takeaways – unfortunately all negatives – and wonders if this dismal GDP report (0.2 percent growth) during one of the worst recoveries on record will spur needed changes on the policy front. For the sake of small businesses (and National Small Business Week!) let’s hope so.
Weltman: Is Your Business EMV Ready?
October 2015: A deadline that all small businesses need to know about
If your business accepts electronic payments here is another reminder to take important steps before October 2015.In a Business Success Strategies post, Barbara Weltman lays out what you need to know about EMV and how to prepare for the new payment technology.
Solovic: WSJ Live: Do you Have “Hurry Sickness?”
Twitter Engagement, New Hampshire Style
Dealing with "Hurry Sickness":When you look back at what you’ve accomplished for the week can you say it was productive? Or did you spend your time doing the wrong things? SBE Council media director Susan Solovic appeared onWall Street Journal TVLive to provide tips on working productively, and how to take back your most precious resource - time.
Twitter Engagement, New Hampshire Style: What is there to learn from the visits by presidential candidates to the Granite State? Plenty, writes SBE Council Media Director Susan Solovic. She shares the lessons to be learned for successful social media posts, specifically on Twitter inher latest Business Success Strategies post.
Business Tips & News Trends Highlights
If you missed the previous week’s “How To” articles, educational resources, and business news and success stories curated by SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan,you can find them here.
Content and information pieces include tips for startups, access to capital and alternative financing, social media and marketing, and cybersecurity advice.
Center for Regulatory Solutions: Unveiling Secret Science at the EPA, Canada Enacts Historic Reform, and the Latest on Ozone
Transparency at EPA: No More Secret Science: On April 28, the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) advancedS. 544, the “Secret Science Reform Act of 2015,”sponsored by Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). The House passedits version of this bill in March. SBE Council/CRS Chief Economist Ray Keatingtestified in strong support of this important legislation before the House Science Committee last year.
In an April 28 blog post,president & CEO Karen Kerrigan reviews the importance of the bill and writes that President Obama should be all for the legislation based upon his much heralded Executive Order (EO) 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” As the EO reads:
Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. It must be based on the best available science. It must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. It must promote predictability and reduce uncertainty.
Yet, unfortunately, President Obama has denounced the EPA transparency bill asserting it would “unnecessarily burden regulators.” Kerrigan answers that strange reasoningin her piece.On Neil Cavuto’s Show on theFox Business Network, SBE Council media director Susan Solovic discussed the Secret Science Reform Act as a needed measure to help small businesses by bringing more accountability to an overzealous EPA and its secret regulatory process.
Canada Enacts “Red Tape Reduction Act:”C-21, as it is called, is now the law of the land in Canada, thanks to the dogged efforts of Prime Minister Tony Clement and the nation’s small business advocates. As Karen Kerrigan explains in a blog post(Regulatory Solutions, Canadian Style)the law requires that for every new regulation promulgated one must be removed or repealed of equivalent burden. The concept of “regulatory pay-go” was advanced in the U.S. by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)in a 2010 Washington Post op-ed, but our allies to the north are the first in the world to adopt the approach.Kerrigan looks at the progress of regulatory reformin the current Congress, and explains why President Obama needs to support regulatory relief, and the modernization of the federal regulatory system.
SCRUB the Regulatory System: SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan recentlysent a letter to Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) in support of H.R. 1155,the “Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome Act of 2015” (SCRUB Act). The House Judiciary Committeeapproved the legislation on March 24. The SCRUB Act would use a BRAC-style commission specifically tasked with identifying archaic or flawed rules, and make recommendations to repeal or modify specific rules for an up-or-down vote by Congress.
Considering the Cost of Ozone Regulation – Time to Change the Law:One of the most vexing features of the Clean Air Act’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) program is that the EPA Administrator is prohibited from considering costs when establishing new standards. This strange prohibition creates real burdens and unintended consequences for small businesses and society as a whole, as Kerrigan notesin a CRS blog post. A reasonable and viable solution has been offered by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), along with Representatives Pete Olson (R-TX) and Bob Latta (R-OH), who have introduced the“Clean Air, Strong Economies Act” (CASE Act). Kerriganexplains the legislation and why it is important here.
Ozone Regs and the Story of Baton Rouge:Comments filed on EPA’s proposed ozone regulation are filled with pleas and concerns by local businesses, business associations and officials regarding the severe and long-term impact of the agency’s misguided regulatory scheme. The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC), which represents more than 1,300 local businesses, zeroed in on this damage in their comments.As Karen Kerriganreports in a blog post, officials with BRAC communicated that uncertainty generated by the rule, and the possibility that Baton Rouge will be classified as a “non-attainment” area,is already havingnegative repercussions on business investment and the local economy.
For more information on the EPA’s proposed ozone rule, please see SBE Council’s primer:Q&A on the EPA’s Proposed Ozone Rule.
EPA Regulations Endanger Dozens of Coal Plants and Countless Small Businesses: Chief economist Ray Keatinghighlights a new report on the cost of EPA regulationsin terms of the closing of coal-fired power plants, and lost jobs and incomes. Keating also notes the damage inflicted on small businesses.
A Progress Report from the House GOP Leadership
In a May 1 memo to House Republicans,Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy outlined the achievements of the the current Congress and U.S. House to date. As noted by Leader McCarthy, the House passed “62 bills, which more than doubled the 25 passed in the first 100 days of the 113th Congress and is twice as many as the 31 passed in the 112th Congress.” Eight of these bills have been passed in the Senate, and signed into law by President Obama.
Leader McCarthy looks at the achievements of the House in April, which include multiple pieces of legislation to protect taxpayers: “Nine bills to rein in the IRS and ensure fair treatment for all Americans – most of which received unanimous support – so that hardworking American taxpayers won’t be unjustly targeted for their political beliefs.” SBE Council endorsed most of these bills including:
H.R. 1059, “Protecting Taxpayers from Intrusive IRS Requests Act”(Our support letter is here.)
H.R. 1295, “IRS Bureaucracy Reduction and Judicial Review Act”(Support letter here.)
H.R. 709, “Prevent Targeting at the IRS Act of 2015”(Support letter here.)
H.R. 1026, “Taxpayer Knowledge of IRS Investigations Act of 2015”(Support letter here.)
H.R. 1314, “Ensuring Tax Exempt Organizations the Right to Appeal Act”(Support letter here.)
H.R. 1562, “Contracting and Tax Accountability Act” and H.R. 1563, “Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act” (Support letter here.)
During this same period the House passed the SBE Council supported“Death Tax Repeal Act”and“Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Advisory Boards Act.” Of course, for the first time in six years, the House and Senate have worked together to draft a bicameral budget, which presents a plan for getting America’s fiscal house in order.
Small Business Week Highlights: Leader McCarthy posted an update on the House’s achievements for America's small businesses and entrepreneurs. He lists the legislative accomplishmentspassed by the House in this blog post.SBE Council supported and endorsed all of these bills.
Up Next - Innovation & Entrepreneurship:May’s agenda for the House includes a legislative focus on innovation and entrepreneurship (the week of May 18). SBE Council has already expressed support and is advocating for several bills that will be considered during the week including H.R. 880, the “American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2015,” a bill to simplify, improve and make permanent the R&D tax credit.
More from Capitol Hill
OVERRIDE VOTE OF AMBUSHELECTIONS VETO: On Tuesday May 5th, the Senate is expected to vote on whether to override the Presidential veto of a resolution to block the NLRB’s new Ambush election rules. Republicans will need more than a dozen Democrats to switch their votes in order to reach the required 67, which appears unlikely to happen. On March 31, President Obama vetoed S.J. Res 8, a resolution of disapproval passed by Congress to overturnthe National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) ambush election rule,which became effective April 14, 2015. SBE Council supports the override vote.
Freedom From Government Competition Act (FFGCA) Introduced: On April 28, FFGCA was introduced in the House and Senate. The legislation is spearheaded by theBusiness Coalition for Fair Competition(of which SBE Council is a member) and represents a key effort to stop the government from unfairly competing with small businesses.As noted by Senator John Thune (R-SD) in his press releasefollowing introduction of the bill, its purpose codifies "the ‘Yellow Pages’ test, which says that if the federal government is doing something that can be found in the Yellow Pages, the product or service should be subject to market competition to ensure better value for the taxpayer.”Congressman Jimmy Duncan (R-TN) introduced the bill in the U.S. House.
TPA ADVANCES: In case you missed it, the House Ways and Means Committee voted on April 23 to send the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act” to the full House, which gives the President trade promotion authority (TPA). The legislation passed the Committee 25-13, with two Democrats voting for the legislation.The Senate Finance Committee passed the same legislationon April 22 with a bipartisan vote of 20-6. SBE Council supports TPA and continues to educate members of Congress about the benefits of trade for entrepreneurs and small business growth. (See our letter of support to House Ways and Means Chairman Ryan, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wydenhere.)
Read the Senate Finance Committee’sPrimer on TPA here.
Various statistics on the role small businesses play in the global marketplace can be found on SBE Council’sGoing Global Resource Center here.
The Benefits of Trade: SBE Council chief economist Ray Keating reported on information from the Council on Foreign Relations on U.S. trade policy, with particular emphasis on the benefits of proceeding with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).Read his blog post here,which underscores the clear upside of these agreements for small businesses.
Encouraging Bipartisanship on Trade: Ray Keating also makes clear how important trade is to our economy, including for small businesses,in a piece about The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (or TPA-2015).
Unilateral Action Would Expand U.S. Exports:In an Energy & Entrepreneurs piece,Ray Keating describes the many benefits from expanding international trade. He points out that the U.S. can take unilateral actions to remove barriers to U.S. energy exports, which will strengthen the economy and promote small business growth.
Keating Op-eds on Energy Exports:The Roanoke Times(Virginia) andDaily Sentinel(Grand Junction, Colorado) published op-eds by Keating on how small businesses in these states will benefit from energy exports. In a related April 27 op-ed in the Washington Examiner -“Who benefits from petroleum exports? Not just ‘Big Oil.’”– Keating reviews the dominant role that small businesses have played in America’s energy renaissance, and how entrepreneurs and their workers will benefit from energy exports.
Related SBE Council resources on trade:
Trade Agreements, Small Business and Imports
Trade Agreements, Small Business and EXPORTS
Lower Trade Barriers Good News for Small Business and Jobs
TAX REFORM:Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wydenannouncedthe release of more than 1,400 submissions of public input to the bipartisan tax reform working groups. SBE Council submitted comments to the working groups, and will follow up with recommendations to Chairman Hatch and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan as requested by the two chief tax writers.
“World Intellectual Property Day” and Small Business
Small Biz in Hollywood Fights Piracy: April 26 was World Intellectual Property Day. For many small businesses, every day presents a new challenge for protecting their IP. This is particularly difficult in the entertainment industry, which is dominated by small to mid-size firms.In an IP & Entrepreneurs blog post,SBE Council chief economist Ray Keating reports on a new small business coalition that is fighting piracy with the backing of the firm that produced “The Expendables 3.” The coalition is focused on mobilizing small businesses.
How You Can Fight IP Theft and Protect Your Profits: On her resource website, SBE Council media director Susan Solovic writes that IP theft is a global scourge, but there are steps small businesses can take at the local level to educate consumers about counterfeits and illegal activities. Readthe article here.
Problems With USTR’s Annual Report:The United States Trade Representative’s annual review(Special 301 Report)about the state of IP protection and enforcement by U.S. trading partners is something SBE Council looks forward to each year to gauge and measure the global IP climate for our members. Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) issued astatementabout the report’s failure to recognize the threat of India's intellectual property abuses, which he says is a “major step back” in our efforts to end India’s unfair trade practices that are harmful to American job creators.
Keating’s Corner: Analysis and Commentary on the Latest Economic Data and Trends
About The Fed’s “Transitory Factors”:The latest SBE Council Capital & Credit analysisby chief economist Ray Keating looks at the most recent FOMC statement on monetary policy, and explains what it means in terms of the larger economic and policy contexts.
The U.S. Must Welcome Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Keatinghighlights key points on the importance of immigrant entrepreneursto our economy, and the need to welcome more individuals willing to come to the U.S. to start up and build enterprises.
Durable Goods Report Raises Questions: The latest durable goods report from the U.S. Census Bureau underscores continuing concerns aboutprivate investment,writes Keating in a blog post.
Halfway Through the Budget Year:Keating looks at federal spendingthrough the first six months of the current fiscal year, as well as projected spending in the President’s budget. Keating notes, “The spending increase in the current year, and projected increases in coming years, would run well ahead of projected inflation, and work against stronger economic growth, along with higher taxes and increased regulations imposed and threatened in recent times.”