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Post-Election: Small Business Looks Ahead


Small business priorities to bolster economic confidence and growth should be driving force behind the priorities of President Obama and the new Congress, a leading small business advocate said today (Nov. 4) at a post-election briefing.

Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, said overwhelming voter anxiety with the state of the economy and jobs means that the new Congress and the president must focus on implementing policies that small business owners have called for over the past two years.

“Small business owners know what it takes to create jobs , and for the most part their solutions and concerns have been ignored,” Kerrigan said in a statement. “The results of the election will bring much needed political balance to Washington and we are hoping the dramatic change directs President Obama away from a costly and ineffective approach to the economy, toward one that encourages investment, hiring and risk-taking.”

Among other measures, Kerrigan said, the SBE Council will urge the Congress to make permanent all the tax relief measures that are set to expire and repeal several items in the new health care law, including expanded 1099 reporting . Congress should also make permanent and expand tax parity for the self-employed that was included in the Small Business Jobs Act.

To get federal spending under control, Kerrigan said, the SBE Council wants the cancellation of the remaining stimulus funds, enactment of across-the-board cuts and a freeze on federal hiring.

Another issue raised at the briefing was the extent to which government competes with small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“The federal government has 1.9 million employees, not including the post office and the uniformed military, and 850,000 of them are doing things the government itself considers commercial in nature,” said John Palatiello, president of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition. “They are duplicating and competing with products and services available in the private sector.”

Palatiello also addressed the government’s increased reliance on “insourcing” — canceling contracts with private industry and then bringing those jobs into the government, frequently poaching employees as well as work.

The briefing was sponsored by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) at the National Press Club in Washington to bring together influential business leaders to discuss what the election outcome means for entrepreneurs. The leaders focused on what the Congress and the Obama administration need to do to boost small business confidence, hiring, investment and economic growth.

Joining Kerrigan and Palatiello at the briefing were Harry Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce; Allen Gutierrez, executive director of The Latino Coalition;, and Kelly Scanlon, chair of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

At the start of the new Congress, the SBE Council will urge lawmakers to immediately develop a strategy and set of options to get federal government spending and entitlements under control.

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Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com.  Follow him on twitter@nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.