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Published by the National Small Business Association

September/October 2008

Volume 22, Issue 4

Who Is Next?

The Presidency is up for grabs and the Small Business Vote has never been more sought after. See how the candidates stack up on small business issues in NSBA’s Voter Guide.

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CONTENTS 06 On the Trail Chair Marilyn D. Landis First Vice Chair Keith Ashmus Secretary Lois W. Riske Treasurer Scott Hauge Immediate Past Chair Grafton H. “Cap” Willey, IV Vice Chair, Communications Chris Holman Vice Chair, Advocacy Larry Nannis Vice Chair, Membership Phyllis Shearer Jones President Todd McCracken Editor Molly Brogan Layout & Design Greg Smith Staff Writers Molly Brogan Jere Glover Daniel R. Jones Kyle W. Kempf Jody Milanese Jim Morrison Greg Smith

In this issue we take a look at some of the most hotly contested congressional races taking place around the country.

08 Resources

Feeling like small business has been left out of the campaign this year? Don’t get beside yourself, get active and let NSBA show you how.

20 From the Hill

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill talks to NSBA about why Barack Obama is the man with a plan who is ready to roll up his sleeves and work for small business.

22 Council Updates

Not sure what a McCain or Obama presidency would mean for your technology firm or exporting business? Find out from the experts exactly what you can expect.

23 Advocacy & Events As the nation’s oldest advocate for small business we’re always working on behalf of you, the small-business owner. Take a moment to see some of our recent activity as well as ways you can get involved.

12 Feature article

The stakes could not be higher this election season and it looks like it’s going to be another tight election. Both candidates have begun to pay lip service to small business, but who is the real smallbusiness candidate? To find out how the candidates stack up against each other, we have compiled the candidates stances on the most pertinent small business issues.

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How To Reach Us

National Small Business Association 1156 15th Street NW Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20005 Phone: (202) 293-8830 Fax: (202) 872-8543 Web: www. nsba.biz

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Notification of address changes should be sent to the address listed above.

Mission Statement

NSBA is a volunteer-led association. Our primary mission is to advocate federal policies that are beneficial to small business and promote the growth of free enterprise JULY/AUGUST 2008

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NSBA Leadership Corner

What’s that Sound?

Oh, Just the Voice of 70 Million People in the Small-Business Community By Marilyn Landis

start talking about key issues in terms of being part of the small-business community. While I am happy to report that we have been successful in doing so, there is more to do. We need all members of our community to join in the fight. The small-business community has caught the ear of the presidential candidates and it is vital that we keep it. I encourage you to talk with your employees, your families and your friends about how important it is to be an active, outspoken part of the smallbusiness community if they aren’t already. Having created more than 93.5 percent of all net net jobs over the last 20 years, small business will no doubt be the engine that propels the US economy forward.

Where to Start

ot since 1980, when the United States was reeling from the oil shocks, inflation and slow growth of the previous decade, has the economy been in worse shape heading into the heart of a presidential campaign. In fact, it wouldn’t be an understatement to say that the only thing standing between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain and the presidency is how they propose to handle the economy. As the undisputed engine of America’s economic growth, we the small-business community hold the power and responsibility of making sure that our employees, friends, families, and lawmakers are educated on the issues that impact our community before the votes are cast in November.

N

Do Your Part

Earlier this year I suggested that the biggest hurdle we face is that we—smallbusiness owners and employees—must

NSBA has an entire website, www. nsba.biz/vote, dedicated to the issues and ways to actively engage those outside the small-business community. Whether you are looking for talking points, webstickers, or to tell your story to the media the Small Business: 70 Million Strong … And Voting campaign website has everything you need at your fingertips. If you are already familiar with the campaign website and the resources available, ask yourself: “When was the last time I shared this resource with another person?” A simple email to a friend, family member, or employee can generate more interest and action than you think.

Get Informed

In this edition of The NSBA Advocate, we’ve worked to provide you with a small-business voters-guide on what issues are hot for this election. You will find an in-depth analysis of where the presidential candidates stand on key small-business issues (see p 12. ).

We’ve compiled analysis on some of the most heated and small-business relevant Congressional races across the country (see p.6). Key campaign insiders have provided insight on what the key smallbusiness issues for this election cycle (see p. 10). Finally, in this issue, you will find 10 of D.C.’s best and brightest when it comes to small business. To honor those individual who have gone above and beyond the call of duty for America’s small businesses, NSBA is pleased to present its inaugural class of Small Business Stars. These individuals range from members of the press to congressional staff to senators, and each has in some way worked to improve and better the small-business community. Throughout the following pages, please take a moment to read about  the remarkable 2008 Small-Business Stars profiled for their outstanding work.

Make an Impact

It is one thing to talk-the-talk, but it’s another to walk-the-walk. That is why I encourage you to make sure that your employees, your families and your friends are registered to vote before Election Day. It’s imperative that we, the smallbusiness community, not only have our voice heard, but our votes counted. The Small Business: 70 Million Strong … And Voting campaign website offers resources on getting voters registered which can be found under the “Join the Campaign” section of the website. After all, it’s one thing to say that we’re 70 Million Strong, but it’s another thing to say that we’re Small Business: 70 Million Strong … And Voting.

~ Marilyn Landis

NSBA Chair

Photograph Provided by: Dynamic Concepts Photographed by: James Papariello Studio, Inc.

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From our affiliates

It All Adds Up

How Small Business Can Make a Big Impact

I

By Scott Hauge, President, Small Business California

t is hard to believe that only four years ago 3.2 million small-business owners across California were missing a strong advocate and voice not only in Sacramento, but in Washington D.C. as well. As a small-business owner I was eager to close the advocacy gap which is why I founded Small Business California (SB-Cal), a 501(c) 6 that is dedicated to representing the interest of grassroots California small businesses. In order to have our voice heard across the country in the nations capital, SB-Cal became a member of the National Small Business Association. Over 8 million people work for or own a small business in California – accounting for 60 percent of the private sector workforce. Small business is the economic engine of growth for California, and California’s economy accounts for 13 percent of the United States gross domestic product (GDP), which makes it critical that our voices be heard. In order to assess the most pressing issues’ facing small businesses, SB-Cal conducts an annual survey. SB-Cal then forms an agenda based upon the responses from the annual survey. In February 2008, we completed our fourth annual survey. There were 629 respondents to the survey representing every county in the state. The issues identified in order of importance were: 1. Health Insurance 2. Workforce/Education 3. Infrastructure 4. Regulation 5. Energy 6. Taxation 7. Workers’ Compensation With the exception of infrastructure, JULY/AUGUST 2008

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Small Business California has had an impact on Californians in every one of these issues. Two recent examples:

not totally successful, we were able to get the suspension revised to two years with an exemption for businesses with less than $500,000 in gross receipts. This I believe On-Bill Financing (OBF) is the first time in history small business SB-Cal is fortunate to have as its executive has had an impact in the California budget director, Hank Ryan. Hank, in my opinion, process. is the most knowledgeable small-business What makes SB-Cal successful is energy person in the United States. Hank that we have an email tree that goes out to now represents SB-Cal and has intervener over 2700 small businesses in California status at the California Public Utilities and over 100 business associations. About Commission (CPUC). In that capacity he once a week, an email goes out providing has gotten the CPUC to require all Investor information about issues that affect small Owned Utilities (IOU) to implement OBF by businesses. Occasionally, an email goes out 2009. OBF is a program that allows small asking for small businesses to write or call their legislators. It also provides a good tool to survey the opinions of If you apply the same 5 percent and 15 small businesses around the state minutes nationwide, we would have or to provide contacts for reporters about 300,000 hours of advocacy writing on small business issues. in Washington, D.C. Wouldn’t you Along with our lobbyist, the email tree has a powerful effect on smallagree that this would get the attention business policy in California. of the presidential candidates? SB-Cal believes that small businesses can have a momentous impact on policy in California and businesses to get financing in Washington D.C. if we speak up. We a t 0 percent interest for retrofits to have incredible numbers. If just 5 percent reduce their energy costs. The way it works of the small businesses in California spent is that a small business has an energy audit 15 minutes a month in advocacy, we would which identifies energy savings if they invest have 40,000 hours a month informing policy in retrofits. The cost of the retrofits is paid for makers in Sacramento. Can any other groups by a loan from the IOU and is paid back at 0 in Sacramento match this? If you apply the percent interest over two to three years by the same 5 percent and 15 minutes nationwide, savings guaranteed by the retrofits. we would have about 300,000 hours of advocacy in Washington, D.C. Wouldn’t Taxation you agree that this would get the attention of California has serious budget problems. One the presidential candidates? of the proposed solutions was to suspend the Net Operating Loss carryover for three years. For more information about SB-Cal, OBF, and SB –Cal organized 31 business organizations our last four surveys, please visit our website at www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org in California to ask for an exemption of the suspension for businesses with less than $5 million in gross receipts. While we were

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trict

On the Trail

The Heat Is On:

A Look at this Season’s Hotly Contested Congressional Races

A By Gregory Smith

s the nation hunkers down in anxious anticipation (or is it: dread?) of another five weeks of political campaigning, congressional Democrats are eagerly expecting to increase their majorities in the both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The extent of these increases remains to be seen, however. Senate Democrats are optimistic that they will increase their razor-thin majority by at least five or six seats and possibly by as many as eight or nine. Barring the unforeseen, House Democrats expect to pick up approximately 15 seats in the House—but hope to pick up as many as 30. We’ve highlighted two of the more compelling—from the perspective of the small-business community—House races below. In the swinging-est of swing states— Ohio—we examine the re-election campaign of Rep. Steve Chabot (R), the ranking member on the House Committee on Small Business. In Pennsylvania, another crucial swing state, we look at the re-election campaign of freshman incumbant Jason Altmire (D), who for the second consecutive election is facing off against Melissa Hart, the former Republican occupant of the seat.

Onto the races!

In Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional district, which encompasses Pittsburgh suburbs and Beaver, Lawrence, and Mercer counties in the western end of the state, Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) is locked in a battle with the Republican incumbent he vanquished in 2006, Melissa Hart. Hart is a familiar face to the small-business community, having used her perch on the 6 09_10_08Newsletter.indd 6

powerful Ways and Means Committee to introduce legislation in the 109th Congress that would have allowed self-employed individuals to deduct their health insurance premiums before calculating their FICA

Pennsylvnia 4th Congressional District

programs—it was highly critical of Title V of the bill, which would have unduly opened the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to venturecapital conglomerates. While H.R. 3567 ultimately was approved by the full House, it died a welcome death in the Senate. Although Pennsylvania’s 4th district cast its lot for President George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, Altmire is expected to narrowly carry the day during this election cycle. There are slightly more registered Democrats in the district than there are Republicans and Altmire has a significant cash-on-hand advantage. Of course, the political climate also favors the Democrat. NSBA hopes that if Altmire is returned to office, he will continue to reach out to the small-business community

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Rep. Jason Altmire (D) vs. Former-Rep. Melissa Hart (R)

tax. Eliminating this gross inequity is a top legislative priority for NSBA. (For more information on NSBA’s fight for health care tax parity, please visit www.nsba.biz. In 2006, Altmire defeated Hart 52 percent to 48 percent in a surprising, come-frombehind victory. He serves on the Committees on Education and Labor, Transportation, and Small Business. While he has made an effort to reach out to the small-business community during his brief tenure on the committee, Altmire also ruffled feathers with his introduction earlier this year of the Small Business Investment Expansion Act of 2007 (H.R. 3567). Although NSBA supported most sections of H.R. 3567—believing that they provided necessary and overdue improvements to three of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s investment ADVOCATE

Ohio 1st Congressional District Rep. Steve Chabot (R) vs. Steve Driehaus (D)

Kevin

In what many political pundits have labeled a “toss up” race, Rep. Steve Chabot (R) is battling an environment hostile to Republicans in his re-election battle against Ohio state House Minority Whip Steve Driehaus (D).

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in the

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On the Trail

Chabot, whom was elevated to the position of ranking member on the House Committee on Small Business after winning a close 2006 election—52 to 48 percent—against Cincinnati Councilman John Cranley, has served seven terms in Congress. He has distinguished himself on the Small Business Committee as an outspoken advocate for tort reform and tax relief. Chabot also serves on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees. His opponent in November is State Rep. Steve Driehaus, whom has

represented the 31st District in the Ohio House of Representatives since 2001. While Driehaus is a self-described “prolife, fiscally conservative Democrat,” his stance on small-business is unclear as there is no mention of small business on his campaign website. He has received endorsements from the entire alphabet of union organizations, however. While the most recent Republicansponsored poll from July has Chabot leading Driehaus 50 to 37 percent, with a 4.9 percent margin of error, most analysts

expect this race to be much closer. Chabot has a significant cash-on-hand advantage, but the Democratic National Committee has set aide approximately $1 million for ads supporting Driehaus in a district that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) lost by a little more than 3,000 votes during the 2004 election. Ohio Democrats also are hoping that the presidential nomination of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will result in a higher than normal African-American turnout in November, as 27 percent of the district is African-American.

2008 SMALL BUSINESS STARS TOM SULLIVAN, CHIEF COUNSEL FOR ADVOCACY SBA OFFICE OF ADVOCACY

As Chief Counsel, Tom heads a team of attorneys and economists who work to remove regulatory barriers to entrepreneurial growth, conduct economic research, and publish data on small businesses’ contributions to the economy. Through the Office of Advocacy, Tom is working to elevate small business’ visibility within all levels of government. Named by Fortune Small Business magazine as one of the “Power 30 most influential folks in Washington” in September 2000, he was described as “an affable lawyer…respected by regulators for his well researched positions on issues affecting small business.” Inc. magazine named Sullivan, “an entrepreneur’s best friend in Washington, DC” in 2006. KEVIN WHEELER, DEMOCRATIC DEPUTY STAFF DIRECTOR SENATE COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Kevin Wheeler has worked tirelessly for many years to protect the interests of small business in the Small Business Innovation Research program from the creeping encroachments of the venture capital and biotechnology industries. This year, she has been instrumental in hammering out the Senate’s compromise SBIR reauthorization bill. She has served as an informal advisor, conduit, cheerleader, and master-planner. In short, she has done it all to protect small businesses rightful role in the program. JULY/AUGUST 2008

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Resources

Rocking the Vote It’s NotJust for Kids Anymore.

How Small Business Can Have a Big Impact This Election Year By Gregory Smith

S

mall business is rarely center-stage on the campaign trail or in the rhetoric of the candidates. However this election year is all about change, and small businesses across the country are determined to be heard on the national political stage this year. Earlier this year NSBA launched a campaign, Small Business: 70 Million Strong...and Voting, to educate lawmakers, candidates and the public on the importance of small business. Since it’s launch countless small-business owners, employees, families, and friends have reached out to their representatives and the presidential campaigns to make sure that the voice of small-business is heard. So far, it appears as though the candidates are listening. While the small-business community has been able to garner the attention of the presidential candidates, there is still more work that needs to be done to ensure that the winning candidate is truly the champion of small business. With election day less than a month away, there is still plenty of time for members of the small-business community to join the Small Business: 70 Million Strong. . .and Voting campaign to remind the candidates that small-business is a vital part of both the American economy and identity. Register to Vote 8 09_10_08Newsletter.indd 8

The first step is to make sure everyone you know is registered to vote. If they are not sure where to register or how to get to their polling place, visit our voter information page for help. There is still plenty of time to register before the election, but encourage your employees, family members and friends to register to vote sooner rather than later. Educate Others If you are not sure how to start talking to others about the importance of the small business vote, then you will want to be sure to visit www.nsba.biz/vote. Here you will find myriad resources including: • “70 Million Strong. . .And Voting” Campaign Kit: Download easyto-print guides to help you discuss critical small business issues including healthcare, tax equity, opening up access to capital and energy efficiency. • Media Advocate Form: Part of spreading the small business message is getting one-on-one time with the media. Download, complete, and submit the form to NSBA so that we can connect you with media outlets to get out the small business message out to the candidates and general public. • Web Stickers & Email Signature:

ADVOCATE

Download the campaign web stickers and email signature to display in your daily communications and activities. It’s a great way to provide a reminder of just how widespread and diverse the small-business community really is. Tell Your Story There is nothing more powerful and moving than talking candidly to friends and family about the problems you face as a member of the small-business community. Whether it’s lack of healthcare options, the slow response from Congress to the credit crunch crisis, or the difficulties you’ve faced due to the spiraling costs of energy. Let them know how important it is that the nation elects lawmakers—and a president—who will work for the backbone of America, small business. Join the campaign NSBA offers several resources to help you decide which lawmakers are looking out for your business’s best interests. Visit www.nsba.biz/vote for in-depth information about how lawmakers voted for or against small business legislation and the 110th Congressional Scorecard.

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2008 SMALL BUSINESS STARS KENT HOOVER – Washington Bureau Chief American City Business Journals

Having covered the small-business beat in DC for years, Kent has a keen understanding of the issues small businesses face. He works cooperatively with NSBA on our key issues and continually reaches out to us for comments and input on his stories. Kent holds a particularly important role in heading the Washington Bureau due to his responsibility for providing important news in Business Journals across the country. A veteran reporter, Kent never stops searching for new information or a different perspective, and never tires of meeting small-business owners. He is a well-known face within the halls of Congress as well as at NSBA events, and has been a powerful voice for small business in and out of the Capitol Beltway. REPRESENTATIVE RON KIND (WIS.)

When the lead sponsor—Melissa Hart (R-Pa.)—of the NSBA’s self-employment bill lost her reelection campaign in 2006, Rep. Kind enthusiastically stepped in to champion this measure in the 110th Congress. He serves on the House Committee on Ways & Means and has a history of assisting the small business community. He has recognized the disparity self-employed business owners have faced in the treatment of deductibility of health insurance costs. The tax on self-employed health care penalizes 21 million self-employed Americans, forcing them to pay an extra 15.3 percent in taxes on their premiums. Rep. Kind has introduced the Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed Act (H.R. 3660) that would allow the self-employed to fully deduct their health insurance premiums for the purposes of their income tax and self-employment (FICA) tax. In addition to addressing a significant tax inequity, the measure would remove strong cost penalties imposed on the self-employed purchasing health insurance. Under his leadership, this bill has attained the greatest number of cosponsors—currently 69—since its inception. The NSBA-led coalition Supporting Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed—representing over 40 small business organizations—has worked with his staff to craft this legislation to ensure small business owners are on level ground with their larger competitors and have worked to guarantee the removal of a major disincentive to becoming an entrepreneur. As a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, Rep Kind has worked to use the weight of the federal government to move the US health system toward more efficient, quality care. Rep. Kind has been a tireless advocate to reform problems with the small-group health insurance market. He also has promoted the adoption of pay-for-performance, and other policies NSBA supports to reduce cost and improve quality and access to health care. JULY/AUGUST 2008

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Feature Article

T

he last of the confetti has fallen and all of the bottles have been uncorked as Republicans and Democrats alike celebrated the anointment of their respective candidates during the 2008 Party Conventions. Now that the excitement has subsided attention has shifted back to what truly matters – the candidate’s positions and, namely, their platforms on key small-business issues.

Some criticize that the candidates have not provided enough detail on small-business issues, while others say the campaigns provide a solid roadmap of where the two candidates will take the country on issues that impact the climate for entrepreneurs to start, run and grow their small business. After a thorough review and analysis of the candidates’ Websites and media reports NSBA has compiled data that displays how each candidate stacks up against each other and NSBA’s top issues.

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Feature Article

Proposal

McCain

Obama

NSBA

Would repeal Bush’s tax cuts for top oneWould maintain current Bush tax cut percent and eliminate income taxes on rates seniors earning $50,000 per year or less

Make Bush tax cuts permanent

Supports permanent repeal

Calls for reform, but no specific plan

Permanent repeal without using off-sets detrimental to small business

Would raise dependent exemption from $3,500 to $7,000

Would establish a "Making Work Pay" refundable tax credit ($1,000 for families/$500 for individuals) to offset payroll taxes. Would expand and enhance No stated position the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and increasing the credit rate to 50%. Would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Fair Tax

Does not Support

Does not Support

Housing

Proposes a new 10% Universal Home Proposes giving every American family Mortgage Credit for taxpayers who do or homeowner the opportunity to trade a not itemize – this refundable credit, burdensome mortgage for a manageable No stated position would provide the average recipient loan that reflects their home's market with approximately $500 per year in tax value. savings

Savings

Proposes a comprehensive, pro-market health care and Medicare reforms to reduce health care costs and control increases in premiums

Permanency for Bush Tax Cuts Alternative Minimum Tax

Families and Children

Would expand Low Income Savers Credit -- 50% match for first $1,000 saved for families with up to $75,000 in income (refundable)

Supports

Supports health-related savings. In regards to health benefits/deductibility and Section 125 plans, all businesses ought to be treated equally regardless of corporate form.

Job Training and Education

Supports tax-free training accounts for Calls for a new, refundable American education and expanding the lender-ofOpportunity Tax Credit for the first $4,000 last resort capabilities for each state’s of college education expenses. guarantee agency.

Supports the Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Overall Reform

Would allow taxpayers to pay tax under a simple alternative tax with two tax rates, a broad tax base, and a large standard deduction

Would simplify tax filings so that most Americans can fill our their returns quickly -- moves toward a return-free tax system for many taxpayers

First, and most outspoken, small-business group to endorse the Fair Tax

Estate Tax

Supports permanent and immediate Supports a $3.5 million exemption per reform with a $10 million exemption and spouse cutting the tax rate to a 15% rate

Proposes an exemption of $7.5 million with a tax rate set at 15 percent, tied to the capital gains tax rate to ensure a more fair method of passing-down a business.

Investment & Expensing

Calls for full expensing for investment Would eliminate capital gains taxes for in equipment, and would permanently start-up businesses extend expansion of Sec. 179 expensing

Calls for full expensing for equipment investment, permanent expansion of Sec. 179 expensing, and the eventual elimination of the capital gains tax rate.

Research and Development

Supports permanent tax credit equal to 10 percent of wages spent on R&D

Supports permanently extending the R&D tax credit

Supports permanently extending the R&D Tax Credit

Internet Fees

Will ban all internet tax and will prohibit new cellular telephone taxes.

Network providers would not be allowed to charge fees to privilege the content Supports Internet tax moratorium, no position on or applications of some web sites and network neutrality. Internet applications over others

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Feature Article

Proposal

McCain

Obama

Individual Mandate

Opposes

Would require parents to insure their children. May consider expanding SCHIP and Medicaid under a Supports requirement that uninsured purchase coverage or participate in government programs.

Employer Mandate

Opposes

Most employers would be required to cover workers, make a "meaningful" contribution to coverage, or contribute to a public health plan..

NSBA

Opposes

Health Insurance Tax Credits

Individuals could get a refundable $1,500 tax credit ($5,000 for families) Small businesses making a meaningful contribution as an incentive to buy health insurance. would receive a refundable tax credit valued at as much If a policy cost less than the tax as 50% of health insurance premiums for employees. credit, the consumer could deposit the remainder in a health savings account

Allow tax deductibility up to the cost of the required package. Additional coverage would be purchased using after-tax dollars, and they payer receives the benefits, regardless of whether purchased through the employer or individual.

Purchase/Price of Insurance

Individuals could purchase across state Would establish national health insurance exchange lines. under guarantee issue policy for insurers

Done at individual level under federally-established rating rules based on modified community rating

Benefits

No specific benefit package outlined, Create a basic benefit package that includes truly The plans benefits would be similar to those of federal but does call for policies that meet necessary benefits and recognizes the need for employees. rigorous standards and certification. higher deductibles for those able to afford them.

Catastrophic Costs/ Reinsurance

Would help states develop "guaranteed Employers would be reimbursed for some catastrophic No policy needed with all individuals in the overall access plans" to aid individuals in poor healthcare costs, but would have to use the money to pool health or with preexisting conditions reduce workers' premiums. Supports pay-for-performance and would create national standards for electronic health systems. Would require medical providers to make information about outcomes, quality, and costs readily available to the public.

Supports increased pay for top-quality care. Would require medical providers to collect data on costs, quality, preventable errors, nurse-to-patient ratios, and hospital acquired infections. Would invest $50 billion toward adoption of electronic medical records and other Health IT.

Supports electronic records and procedures including digital prescription writing, individual electronic medical records, and universal physician IDs. Calls for pay-for-performance based on outcomes and standards, rather than procedures; as well as greater cost and quality transparency for consumers to make informed choices.

FMLA Expansion

No posted position, but voted to pass the original law back in 1993.

Supports expanding FMLA to cover businesses with 25 or more employees (currently covers 50 or more). Would add elder care, 24 hours per year for participation in children's school activities, and domestic violence issues to eligible FMLA leave. Would set-aside $1.5 billion for state programs for paid-leave systems.

NSBA urges Congress to oppose any move that would hinder an entrepreneur’s ability to create jobs, such as mandatory sick time and reducing the employee threshold for FMLA compliance.

Mandated Sick Leave

Opposes

Supports mandating 7 paid sick days per year.

NSBA opposes employer mandates to offer paid sick leave

Quality, Transparency and IT

In order to keep a pulse of the most pressing issues and concerns facing the small-business community NSBA conducts weekly Quick Polls. The results not only help NSBA staff better serve your needs, but they are also an important tool in educating your elected representatives and members of the media. To cast your vote in the weekly quick poll either view the Weekly Advocate E-Newsletter, delivered to your inbox every Wednesday, or visit www.nsba.biz. The results are published each week.

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Feature Article

Proposal

McCain

Exporting/ Foreign Trade

Supports efforts to reduce barriers to U.S. exports, improved export assistance by the U.S. government, and better access to capital for small businesses in international trade.

No position stated

Would create a credit card rating system to improve disclosure for consumers, and require credit card companies to display the rating on all application and contract materials. Supports a Credit Card Bill of Rights that would ban unilateral changes, apply interest rate increases only to future debt, prohibit interest on fees, prohibit universal defaults and require prompt and fair crediting of cardholder payments

Supports reform that would prohibit: universal default, double-cycle billing, retroactive application of interest rate hikes, interest charges on transaction fees, and late fees if the delay was caused by the credit card company.

Has stated his goal to reform procurement programs and cut wasteful spending in defense and non-defense programs.

Supports elimination of contractor fraud and the transparency of accurate and reliable data on Will implement women-owned business contracting small-business contractors. Calls for an end to program contract bundling and the appropriate treatment of subcontractors.

No position stated

No position stated

Supports an independent, fully-funded Office of Advocacy through the establishment of a budgetary line-item.

Access to Capital/SBA Lending

No position stated

Supports expanded microloan program, calls for expanded lenders in SBA programs and a simplified loan approval process. Will invest $250 million to increase the number and size of public/private business incubators in disadvantaged communities. Will also reach-out to rural and minority small businesses.

Supports improved start-up financing opportunities, a fully-funded 7(a) program, debt versus equity financing, and interest-bearing checking accounts for small businesses.

Regulatory Reform

Proposes a review of every federal program, department and agency, the results of which will be publicly posted on-line.

Supports easing the small-business regulatory burden through cost-benefit analyses of direct and indirect No position stated, but was a co-sponsor of S. 2291, costs of proposed regulations. Calls for improved the Plain Language in Government Communications small-business assistance, increased flexibility and Act. exemptions, streamlined paperwork, and improved information collection. Supports plain-language legislation.

Credit Card Reform

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that reate g the

paid

NSBA

Supports breaking down barriers to U.S. exports. Would engage in multilateral, regional and bilateral efforts to reduce barriers to trade, level the global playing field and build effective enforcement of global trading rules. Favors overhaul of worker retraining programs to equip workers for better jobs in the international economy.

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shed ng

Obama

Supports trade policy that opens up foreign markets to support American jobs, and spreads stricter labor and environmental standards around the world. Opposes existing agreements like CAFTA that he views as failing to live up to those benchmarks. Will work with the WTO to enforce trade agreements and end unfair government subsidies to foreign exporters and non-tariff barriers on U.S. exports. Supports renegotiating NAFTA. Would expand Trade Adjustment Assistance to service industries.

Federal Procurement Independent Office of Advocacy

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Feature Article

Proposal

McCain

Obama

Extend production tax credit to increase renewable Proposes a system of tax credits that energy production, institute windfall profits tax on will remain in place until renewable Renewable Energy oil selling above a threshold. Would create a federal energy has progressed to the point that Tax Incentives Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that will require it is competitive with conventional en25 percent of American electricity be derived from ergy sources. No specifics. renewable sources by 2025.

Energy Efficiency

Proposal Border Security

Proposes to make greening the Federal government a priority by applying higher efficiency standards to new buildings leased or purchased, and by retrofitting existing buildings to save taxpayers money. Would enforce stricter penalties on auto-manufacturers for not following CAFE standards.

NSBA Calls for extended tax credits for renewable energy production. Supports efforts to require producers to increase the amount of energy they derive from alternative sources.

Supports energy efficiency goal of reducing electricity demand 15 percent from projected levels by 2020. Also Supports incremental but steady increases in the proposes to increase fuel economy standards 4 percent nation’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) per year while providing $4 billion for domestic standards. automakers to produce these vehicles.

McCain

Would require border-state governors to certify border security. Would provide funding for border enforcement training facilities, staff, technologies, and border states' US Attorneys. Supports use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and other aircraft. Calls for continuation of US-VISIT security program.

Obama

NSBA

Supports additional personnel, infrastructure and technology on the border and at our ports of entry. Believes US needs No stated position additional Customs and Border Protection agents equipped with better technology and real-time intelligence.

Employee Verification

Supports prosecuting "bad-actor" employers Would crack down on employers that hire undocumented through an electronic employment verification immigrants using a new employment eligibility verification system similar to how the E-verify system system. works today.

Calls for reform that includes “good-faith effort” language, leeway for inadvertent errors, certain flexibility in the allowable time frames, reasonability in fines, and provisions to ensure an appropriate workforce is available.

Guest Workers

Supports new temporary worker programs to address labor needs in both high-tech and low skilled sectors, would reform caps for H1-B visas and increase green card caps as Supports increasing the number of legal immigrants to keep necessary. Would design a program to allow families together and meet job demand for U.S. employers. willing and eligible US workers opportunities for employment first and ensure guest workers return to their country or origin.

No stated position

Current Illegal Immigrants

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Supports requiring undocumented individuals to enroll in a program to resolve their status which would determine their legal good standing, require the individual to learn English, pay back taxes and fines, and pass a citizenship course. Those successfully completing the program would then move to the back of the line for citizenship.

Calls immigration raids ineffective, supports allowing undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay No stated position a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.

ADVOCATE

JULY/AUGUST 2008

9/30/08 10:40:06 AM


2008 SMALL BUSINESS STARS REPRESENTATIVE BRUCE BRALEY (IOWA)

Although only a freshman lawmaker, Rep. Braley quickly has distinguished himself as a friend of small business. This year, he introduced, at the urging of NSBA, H.R. 3548, the Plain Language in Government Communications Act. He has been a staunch advocate of the bill, in both the House Committee on Small Business and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the government’s duty to publish easily-comprehensible documents.

ergy cers rom

Additionally, Congressman Braley introduced H.R. 1873, the Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act, which would have, among other things, increased the federal government’s small-business contracting goal to a government-wide 30 percent.

the AFE)

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN LINDER (GA.)

Congressman Linder serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means which has jurisdiction over tax, tariff and trade laws, health care, Social Security and Medicare. Rep. Linder serves on the Subcommittee on Oversight and the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, which acts as the chief subcommittee on tax policy. Rep. Linder has taken a leadership role in the effort to enact fundamental tax reform. The Fair Tax, his revolutionary tax reform bill—which he has consistently introduced since 1998—abolishes all federal income taxes, including payroll taxes, self-employment taxes, capital gains taxes, gift taxes and death taxes, and replaces them all with one simple, revenue-neutral personal consumption tax. NSBA has been the lead small business advocacy group who has supported the Fair Tax since its inception. SENATOR RON WYDEN (ORE.)

Sen. Wyden actively sought small-business input in crafting his broad reform measure, the Healthy Americans Act. In addition to his keen understanding of the health care market, Wyden has a passion for reforming the system. Through his work on the Senate Committee on Finance, Wyden has initiated thoughtful discussions on the issue of employer-provided health insurance and is always open to suggestions on ways to ease the small-business burden of health care.

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Resources

Read My Lips

No New Taxes, but What About the Old Ones? By Gregory Smith

P

residential candidates John from 45 percent today, and the maximum McCain and Barack Obama exemption will fall to $1 million, from $2 have starkly different million today. philosophies about tax Perhaps that is why both candidates policy and how to raise the revenue needed have included parts of the Bush tax cuts into to support government programs, spur their tax plans. growth and ensure economic fairness. McCain would extend all of the Bush But small-business owners really Administration’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. want to know one thing: How would the He would also slash the top corporate tax presidential candidates’ views impact their rate to 25 percent from 35 percent and allow own tax bills? The answer depends on what all businesses to write off the full cost of kind of company you have and how much capital-equipment purchases in the first you earn. year. It is clear that the tax cuts initiated Obama would extend some of the Bush by President tax cuts, such as George W. small-business owners really the child-credit Bush in 2001 want to know one thing - e x p a n s i o n s and 2003 How would the presidential and cuts on have helped gains c a n d i d a t e s ’ v i e w s I m p a c t capital to promote and dividend their Own tax bills? growth among taxes for small-business owners while reducing the taxpayers in the 10, 15, 25, and 28 percentile tax burden, though more can still be done. brackets. However, he would eliminate If the cuts expire as scheduled in 2011, the personal income tax cuts for higher-income top marginal rate on individual returns will Americans - those earning more than rise to 39.6 percent from 35 percent today. $200,000 a year and couples earning more The top estate tax rate will rise to 55 percent than $250,000. Obama also says he would

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make corporate taxes more uniform, with lower rates and fewer loopholes. McCain has charged that Obama’s plans to raise taxes on the wealthy would result in a burden on small-business owners since many have organized their companies as sole proprietorships, partnerships, or S Corporations, which pay tax at the individual rates. He also claims that Sen. Obama’s tax proposal will stave off job growth, since increasing taxes would leave less money for other purposes that small businesses need, such as investing in technology or hiring. The Obama camp counters that only a small percentage of small-business owners take home $250,000 per year. Indeed, only 1.4 percent of small-business owners would be affected, according to the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. Even so, while only a small percentage of small businesses may be affected by the increase, those that are affected are likely higher-growth companies. So while the number of those affected may be relatively insignificant, the potential impact, especially given the current economic conditions, is not.

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9/30/08 10:40:09 AM


JMA Chartered

Member Profile

The Advocates Advocate By Molly Brogan

“I have structured my business in such a way that I can spend at least 30 percent of my time giving back to help other businesses, small business advocacy, and community services

F

or the 2008 Small Business Advocate of the Year, Joseph Melookaran, small-business activism is big business. Joseph Melookaran, founder of JMA Chartered in Overland Park, Kansas, was awarded with NSBA’s highest honor as the 2008 Small Business Advocate of the Year back in June. Today, he continues his strong tradition of local activism and volunteering on behalf of the smallbusiness community. “I have structured my business in such a way that I can spend at least 30 percent of my time giving back to help other businesses, small business advocacy, and community

services,” he said. It is this cornerstone belief that has driven Melookaran’s professional philosophy. Melookaran, a certified public accountant by profession, is a fistgeneration immigrant from India who is very active in the business and civic leadership activities at the local, national and international level. He has been a leader in the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Asian American Chamber of commerce, and spent several years in the International Trade Club working to organize seminars focused on assisting U.S. businesses expand their trade operations to Mexico and India.

Serving on a loan committee for the Center for Innovation in Kansas City, Melookaran volunteered side-by-side with bank loan officers in reviewing more than 100 microloan applicants in just over two and a half years. His work with local business incubators has enabled Melookaran to mentor myriad small businesses through growth stages in their companies. It was this kind of local and state activism that caught the attention of the White House in 2004 when Melookaran was named Commissioner to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Serving on the Commission for

three years, Melookaran was the lead author of a White House report on entrepreneurship to President George W. Bush entitled, Enhancing Economic Opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2007. While Melookaran has an impressive record of volunteerism, his business hasn’t suffered. Among the many awards Melookaran has been given, he was recognized by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce as one of their 2004 Top Ten Small Businesses. In 2006 he was named SBA Minority Small Business Champion of the Year, and in 2007 he was awarded with the Outstanding Business leadership

Award by the U.S. Asia Business Center. Given Melookaran’s many civic involvements, one could question how he’s able to run a successful business. Yet JMA Chartered, a professional services firm with divisions in public assurance, information technology solutions, and network design and security, has undergone unprecedented growth in the past four years. Since establishing his company in 1994, Melookaran has made it his priority to give back to his community and beyond. “I have demonstrated leadership in my own business by growing a small accounting firm to a consulting and information technology solution company with over 300 employees,” Melookaran stated. “I am living the American dream and strive to enable others to find their path to it—for me, there is nothing more gratifying.”

Have you ever attended a town hall held by your elected representatives? Yes 41% No 59% Have you ever invited your elected representatives to visit your small business? Yes 29% No 71% JULY/AUGUST 2008

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2008 SMALL BUSINESS STARS

2

REPRESENTATIVE WALLY HERGER – (CALIF.)

Rep. Herger currently serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over tax policy, trade, Social Security, and Medicare. In the 110th Congress, he was appointed the Ranking Member of the Trade Subcommittee, and also serves on the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support. As a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, Herger’s has been an advocate for securing economic growth and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship by reducing the tax burden on American families and small businesses. Congressman Herger is the lead Republican sponsor of legislation that would provide important health coverage tax relief to self-employed taxpayers. This bipartisan bill, H.R. 3660, seeks to eliminate the current inequity in our tax code under which our smallest businesses—ones that typically employ one to ten workers—are hit with an additional 15.3 percent payroll-like tax on amounts paid for health care. This issue has been a top tax priority for NSBA. Additionally he is the lead sponsor of legislation that will repeal a provision in a larger tax bill, that if not eliminated will cause great harm to small businesses and local governments. Under the Senate-sponsored provision, in 2011 governments at the local, state and federal level will be required to withhold three-percent on payments for goods and services. His bill, H.R. 1023, will repeal the three-percent withholding burden before it begins to affect governments and businesses. This issue has also been a top tax priority for NSBA. Finally, Herger is one of the few members who has spoken out in opposition to a tax gap proposal that would require credit and debit card companies as well as banks and financial institutions to report to the IRS each year the total credit card, debit card and electronic payment transactions for businesses. During an alternative minimum tax (AMT) mark-up in the Ways and Means Committee, Herger emphasized that these new requirements will lead to costly new processes for credit and debit card companies which will lead to increased fees being passed on to small-business owners. 18 09_10_08Newsletter.indd 18

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JULY/AUGUST 2008

9/30/08 10:40:13 AM


2008 SMALL BUSINESS STARS SENATOR JEFF BINGAMAN (N.M.)

Sen.Bingaman has been a champion of the Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed bill since the 109th Congress. Currently, he serves on the measure’s two committees of jurisdiction, the Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Speaking numerous times on the Senate floor and in committee hearings, Senator Bingaman has recognized that this important legislation corrects an inequity that currently exists in our tax code that forces self-employed workers to pay payroll taxes on the funds used to pay for their health insurance while larger businesses do not. Because of this inequity, health insurance is more expensive for the self-employed. At a time when the number of uninsured Americans is growing at an alarming rate, Bingaman believes Congress should be working to find ways to reduce the cost of health insurance. He understands this legislation is a first logical step. His bill, the Equity for Our Nation’s Self-Employed Act (S. 2239), allows sole proprietors to deduct the cost of health insurance premiums as a normal business expense when calculating their federal self-employment tax. Currently, all business entities except sole proprietors deduct their health premiums as a business expense and forego FICA (Social Security and Medicare) taxes on these expenses. This leaves filers of Schedule C and Schedule E tax forms as the only business entities paying a 15.3 percent tax on these costs. NSBA worked closely with his staff to ensure introduction of the bill, as well as worked to highlight to those in leadership the fact that self-employed individuals are the only segment of the business population who are taxed on their purchase of health insurance. We have emphasized this is an unfair situation and Congress needs to fix it as soon as possible.

ALEX HECHT, REPUBLICAN CHIEF COUNSEL SENATE COMMITTEE ON SMALL BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Alex Hecht was instrumental in the formulation and inclusion of the small-business provisions in H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. He also has been working on a new piece of legislation aimed at providing special incentives and benefits in the federal contracting arena for small businesses that perform ‘green’ business practices. Alex was central in the introduction of Independent Office of Advocacy and Small Business Regulatory Reform Act of 2008 (S. 2902) and, although it has not gone anywhere, he has worked hard on its behalf. He also has gone above and beyond in working toward bipartisan health care reform.

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19 9/30/08 10:40:15 AM


From the Hill

Got Change?

Obama Does and He Plans to Bring it to Main Street By U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

A

mericans can’t afford four more years of the failed economic policies of the Bush Administration. We’ve seen wages decrease, jobs go overseas, and skyrocketing gas and oil prices burden our families. But this election presents us with an important choice: we can have four more years of the failed economic policies that John McCain is offering, or real change that means keeping jobs at home and putting money back in the pockets of middle class families. Barack Obama is our choice in this election. Small businesses are the cornerstone of America’s economy. But for the past eight years, we have had a president who has turned his back on small businesses across the country by lavishing tax cuts 20 09_10_08Newsletter.indd 20

on the very wealthiest while exploding the deficit and gutting Small Business Administration along the way. We support Barack Obama because he has a comprehensive plan to invest in our small businesses owners and grow small businesses across the country. First, Barack Obama will provide much needed tax relief for small businesses. He has called for eliminating all capital gains taxes on investments in small and start-up businesses to encourage innovation and job creation. Obama will provide a $500 “Making Work Pay” tax credit to 95 percent of American workers, including millions of small business owners who file individual tax returns. Across the country, workers and small business owners will get tax relief from Barack Obama’s plan. Barack Obama will also offer a new Health Tax Credit to small businesses that provide quality health care to their employees. He will provide a refundable credit of up to 50% on premiums paid by small businesses on behalf of their employees. To be eligible for the credit, small businesses will have to offer a quality health plan to all of their employees, and cover a meaningful share of the cost of employee health premiums. Under this plan, businesses will not be required to provide healthcare to their employees or contribute to the national exchange on their behalf. But with the new Obama Health Tax Credit, small businesses will ADVOCATE

have a strong incentive to offer high quality health care to their workers. And Barack Obama will increase the capacity of small businesses to compete for, and win, government procurement contracts. In order for them to compete, minority firms and small businesses need greater access to venture capital investment, as well as greater access to business loans. Barack Obama will not just restore funding for the SBA, he will strengthen SBA programs that provide capital to minority owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms. When it comes to America’s small businesses, John McCain has stood in lockstep with George Bush and has failed to provide any meaningful relief to our small business owners. In 2005, he voted against legislation that would have provided health care tax credits and an immediate stimulus for businesses to purchase new facilities and equipment. And Senator McCain’s health care plan would undermine the employer-based system that most Americans depend on and make you pay taxes on your health care for the first time ever. And despite false attacks by the McCain campaign, Barack Obama won’t raise taxes on small businesses – he’ll give meaningful tax relief to small businesses that means they can invest in their business and their workers and provide relief for our middle class families. For America’s small businesses, the stakes are high. Barack Obama’s record of standing up for America’s small businesses and his comprehensive plan to grow our small businesses and give them what they need to succeed will bring the kind of change our economy and our working families need. JULY/AUGUST 2008

9/30/08 10:40:19 AM


From Fromthe theHill Hill

From the Convention McCain’s Economic Advisor Speaks Out. A U.S. senator who often serves as a spokesman for Sen. McCain was invited and accepted an invitation to pen an article in support of Sen. McCain. Although NSBA extended over two weeks of additional time beyond the agreed-upon due date for this article, it was not submitted by press time. In an effort to provide readers with balanced coverage of the campaign, excerpted below are the prepared remarks delivered Sept. 3, 2008 by Carly Fiorina in support of McCain at the Republican National Convention. Firorina, the first—and to date only—woman to lead a Fortune 20 company (HewlettPackard), is an outspoken McCain supporter and has served as an economic advisor to the campaign.

A

s America steers her course into the 21st century, our choices have never mattered more. Will we continue to compete and lead in the global economy? Will we create more jobs here at home? Will we educate our children for the rigors of this new century and will we prepare our workers to remain the best and most productive in the world? Will we power our economy and still protect our environment? Will we defeat our enemies and strengthen our alliances with other democracies? I know John McCain. He understands that government’s highest calling is to unlock and unleash the determination, creativity and potential of every single American. He believes that every American should have an equal opportunity to achieve the American dream. He believes that people should be freed and empowered to make their own choices. John McCain believes that all institutions of power and

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wealth - whether they are government agencies or global corporations - must be both transparent and accountable to those they serve. Today, Americans are concerned about keeping their jobs, about keeping their homes, about the rising price of food and fuel. They are concerned about whether they will be able to find or afford the right healthcare. They are concerned about whether they or their children will have the skills and education they need to compete in the twenty first century. They wonder whether government will stand by their side or get in their way. I know John McCain. And if we make the right choice, in 2013, American families will keep more of their hard-earned money. Small and large businesses alike will be creating jobs here and spurring robust economic growth, because America will once again be a great place to build a business. Workers will be able to seek retraining to ensure they have the latest skills. John McCain will simplify the tax code and reduce the tax burden. Innovation and entrepreneurship will be rewarded. He will empower individuals and companies to create wealth, opportunities and jobs. American families will have real choices about how to ensure their children receive a quality education. They will have real choices and access to affordable healthcare. As a business-person, I support him because I know his programs will strengthen small business, foster growth and create jobs. I know John McCain. I am proud to support him.

ADVOCATE

21 9/30/08 10:40:24 AM


Council Updates

Candidate Wanted:

With a Strong Commitment to U.S. Export Promotion. by Jim Morrison

Both the McCain and Obama Campaigns have pledged to improve the international trade position of the United States, but there is an important part of this goal that neither campaign has focused on - the task of promoting U.S. exports. Each billion dollars in exports generates over 9,000 American jobs – jobs that pay about 15 percent higher, on average, than nontrade-related jobs. Larger American companies are skillful at spotting export opportunities. Virtually every Fortune 1000 company is fully engaged in international trade. But the picture is different with smaller companies. While nearly a quarter of a million small U.S. companies export – a remarkable and little-appreciated statistic – that’s still less than 1 percent of all U.S. small businesses. Yet studies show that smaller American companies which take

full advantage of international trade opportunities are among the top performers in the entire U.S. economy. There are many export promotion initiatives at the federal and state level, but these initiatives are typically underfunded and uncoordinated. Moreover, there are no agreed-upon measures of success. Despite our record trade deficits, the U.S. ranks ninth among major nations in the proportion of its GDP that it devotes to export promotion. One result is that our competitors are far outstripping us in getting their small businesses into international trade. In Canada, Germany and the UK, where export promotion is much more systematic, about 9 percent of small businesses export – 9 times as many as the United States. In Australia, it’s 15 percent; in Finland, 19 percent. If just 3 percent of U.S. small businesses exported, at about the level of today’s small business exporters, the U.S. would be running a healthy trade surplus. And the benefits of globalization would be as obvious on Main Street as they are on Wall Street.

The Candidates Square Off: A Look At Innovation and Technology by Jere Glover & Jim Morrison

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have offered differing views on promoting innovation and technology in America. Part of the

Barack Obama

Small Business Technology Council’s (SBTC) mission is to educate its members about the pertinent issues that impact the technology community. As such, SBTC has compiled the following summary of the candidates stances on the key issues. Full technology-related platforms can be

Innovation related taxes

• • •

• He would make the R&D tax credit permanent. • He would eliminate the capital gains taxes for small and start-up • businesses. He would keep Internet tax-free. •

He would allow first-year direct expensing of technology investments. Establish a permanent tax credit equal to 10% of wages spent on R&D. Additionally, he would cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. He would keep the Internet tax-free.

He would fully fund “America Competes Act” for technology education and training. He would increase funding for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He would upgrade government’s own online services. He has proposed eliminating earmarks in scientific research. He would offer incentives for clean and renewable energy, including tax credits and invention prizes Ensure that space exploration is a top U.S. science and technology priority

viewed by visiting the candidates respective websites (http://www.barackobama.com/) and (http://www. johnmccain.com/) Neither candidate appears to have directly addressed the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program in his platform or issue papers. However, the effect of several policies favored by each candidate would be to increase the federal R&D budget from which the SBIR allotment is

Innovation and technology spending

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John mcCain

He would double federal funding for basic research. He has proposed creating job training programs for clean technologies. He would boost the renewable energy sector by investing $150 billion over 10 years in climate-friendly energy development. He would deploy next generation broadband.

• • • • •

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Advocacy & Events

Sep

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Sept. 15, 2008 NSBA President Todd McCracken spoke at the “Energy Forum� hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance.

June Join -Novemb Cam70 Million er paig Stron n. g&V oting Febru Small ary 2009 Sunn Business y Ft. L llC a aude ongress Sm in rdale 8 c 0 , FL!! 20 omi t e n o th o

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August 12, 2008 NSBA staff attended a coalition meeting for the Consumer Energy Alliance.

July 14, 2008 rticipated NSBA staff pa of ce in an SBA Offi dtable un o Advocacy R d ADA se o on the Prop rule.

Sep NSB t. 17, 2 par A staf 008 in R ticipat f Rou etirem ed Hou ndtab ent Co se Sm le with mm a itte ll Busi nes e s JULY/AUGUST 2008

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23 9/30/08 10:40:27 AM


Washington Presentation

NSBA_FSBAD.indd 1

6/2/2008 3:16:35 PM

1156 15th Street NW Washington, DC 20005 nsba.biz

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NSBA ADVOCATE  

NSBA's bimonthly magazine keeps you informed on the latest small-business issues and trends. NSBA ADVOCATE takes an in-depth look at public...

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