Small Business Owners Have Their Own Ideas for Economic Stimulus
Seattle –Washington Policy Center today released the results of an informal survey taken during the 2008 Statewide Small Business Forums. The Forums were held last fall in six cities across the state to inform small business owners about new policy ideas that could affect how they run their business.
Speakers focused on the business and occupation tax, transportation environmental regulations, health care and the financial bailout and what they mean to small businesses in Washington state. The Forums also provided the chance for attendees to participate in the survey below.
“We had over 600 attendees during our Forum series,” said Carl Gipson, director for small business at Washington Policy Center. “Particularly given the state of the national economy, there is a lot of concern among small business owners that this new legislative session could bring about raising the cost of conducting business in this state. That is exactly the opposite of what they say they need right now.”
Attendees to the Forums were asked the following questions:
Most important issue to you and your business
- Tax Policy — 53%
- Employer regulations — 19%
- Access to health care — 17%
- Environmental issues — 10%
- Other — 1%
Among the policy recommendations for health care, please rank your favorite:
- Reduce or freeze health care mandates — 44%
- Authorize core-benefits plan — 25%
- Make Health Savings Accounts more affordable and accessible — 23%
- Other — 7%
Among recommendations for tax policy, rank your favorite:
- Increase B&O tax exemption — 50%
- Repeal state and federal estate taxes — 35%
- Implement a state personal income tax – 5%
- Other — 10%
If taxes were lower would you:
- Reinvest into more assets — 49%
- Save for a rainy day — 30%
- Hire more employees — 21%
What regulations have the biggest impact on your business?
- Workers Compensation — 38%
- Unemployment insurance — 23%
- Minimum wage — 12%
- Environmental regulations — 12%
- Other — 15%
“It is our hope that policymakers this session make sure they run any potentially major decision through the lens of how it would affect the small business community,” Gipson continued. “Businesses with fewer than 50 employees account for 95% of registered businesses and every effort should be made to minimize the negative effects of higher taxes and regulations. Small businesses are the businesses that help the larger economy recover from times of recession.”
24 Ways to Improve the Small Business Climate – The report from the 2007 Small Business Conference where small business owners ranked their favorite policy solutions.
An Economic Stimulus Package Must Focus on Long-term Effects – op-ed by Professor Matthew Manweller, WPC adjunct scholar.