Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
President Barack Obama speaks at his election night party Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Joyce M. Rosenberg: Small-business outlook for Obama’s 2nd term

By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG

The Associated Press

First Published Nov 09 2012 04:24 pm • Last Updated Mar 06 2013 11:32 pm

New York • President Barack Obama’s successful re-election to a second term is sinking in. No matter who small-business owners voted for, the election takes away some of the uncertainty that small-business owners have been carrying around. The question now is whether Obama can satisfy those who say he hasn’t done enough to help them expand and create jobs.

During Obama’s first term, the president pointed to steps he took to help small companies, such as proposing the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 that cut taxes for small companies and made it easier for them to obtain federally guaranteed loans. These steps have helped some small businesses start their recovery from the recession.

Photos
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We’ve been seeing steady albeit modest growth in the economy since the president took office and we are cautiously optimistic," says John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, an organization that lobbies on behalf of small companies.

Even so, many small-business owners are critical of the president’s performance. They are anxious about taxes and the bulging federal deficit. Many opposed the health-care overhaul and complain that they are being squeezed by excess regulations.

"I’ve never seen that Obama understands what it takes to be a small-business owner," says Lorne Campbell, co-owner of Occasionally Cake, an upscale baker outside of Washington, D.C., who voted for Republican challenger Mitt Romney. He’s worried not only about the economy, but also about looming budget cuts that could make his customers forgo the treats his two stores sell. So he has limited his hiring to part-time workers, and doesn’t plan to hire anyone full time.

Many advisers to small businesses say companies need to keep an eye on what’s happening with taxes and regulations, but they still need to try to expand and grow.

"You should always be looking at maneuvering through an uncertain future instead of saying, ‘the future’s uncertain and I will do nothing," says David O’Brien, a financial planner in Richmond, Va., whose small-business clients include engineering firms and technology companies.

Either way, small-business owners should stay on top of what’s going on around them and their companies. So now that Obama has won four more years, what can small-business owners expect from Obama on taxes, health care, the economy and regulation? The Associated Press interviewed small-business experts and advocates to find out.

Taxes


story continues below
story continues below

No president has a complete say over how much anyone, including small-business owners, will pay in taxes. Expect the divided Congress to battle over Obama’s request to raise the top tax rate on many business owners to 39.6 percent during 2013. That’s the highest personal tax rate, and it affects some small businesses because their owners report their business taxes on their personal returns. Republicans in the House, many who were aligned with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, will oppose that tax increase, and the result may be a stalemate.

"I don’t think anything’s going to change," says Peter Cohan, a lecturer in entrepreneurial strategy at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass.

But Obama has made a point of proposing tax cuts that will benefit many small companies. He’s calling for the corporate tax rate to drop to 28 percent from its current 35 percent. Manufacturers would pay no more than 25 percent. He’s also backing more liberal tax deductions for small businesses that invest in new equipment.

"Congress will be more willing to work with the president on these small business-targeted tax policies," Arensmeyer says.

Recent history shows that Arensmeyer may be right. Earlier this year, there was bipartisan support in Congress for the Jumpstart Our Small Business Startups Act. It was designed to help small companies get financing more easily.

Health care

Obama’s re-election means the health care overhaul will continue to be implemented, but small businesses still have to wait to find out how much it will eat into their profits.

Key provisions of the law go into effect in 2014, including the requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide affordable health insurance for their workers. What employers don’t know yet is how much that insurance will cost. That won’t be determined until states set up exchanges where individuals and companies can buy coverage.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised to make changes to the law. Now that the overhaul has survived the re-election of Obama and a fight that advanced earlier this year to the U.S. Supreme Court, another big legal challenge is unlikely, says Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.