Election Issues That Impact Small Businesses

Election Day is quickly approaching and voters are already preparing to cast a vote to elect the next leader of our country. For small business owners, the decision goes beyond merely looking out for the interests of themselves and their families. They need to choose a leader who will do what's best for their own organization and its employees, in addition to directing the country as a whole.

If you're still trying to decide which candidate will best represent your business's interests, time is running out. This information on where the two primary Presidential candidates stand on small business issues may help.

Healthcare


One of the biggest issues impacting small business owners is health care. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the government
on employers to provide healthcare to employees. In 2016, those mandates began to affect even more small business employers, putting some enterprises out of business completely.

Healthcare is a tricky issue in this year's election. Neither candidate has been specific about what actions will be taken to benefit consumers and businesses. Hillary Clinton plans to keep ACA intact, but she's open to making changes to the law if areas can be improved. Her opponent, Donald Trump, plans to repeal the ACA if elected, but his replacement plan is a mystery. All Trump will say is he plans to replace ACA with "something wonderful." Businesses with healthcare as a priority issue will need to decide between keeping ACA or taking a chance on Trump's mystery offering.

Minimum Wage


One issue having a direct impact on small and midsized businesses is a proposed minimum wage increase. Currently, the federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour, with local ordinances increasing that in relation to the standard cost of living. At a federal level, the wage has been at that rate since 2009, however, and
it's time for an increase.

Clinton has supported a $12 an hour minimum, but the party as a whole supports a $15 an hour minimum, which would be gradually phased in. Trump initially stated a belief that wages were too high, but he has since revised his thoughts on the issue. Although his party adamantly opposes any minimum wage increase, Trump's stance is more of a compromise between the two parties. In late July, he said he could get behind a $10 an hour federal minimum wage.

Taxes


As this election has revealed, disparities exist in the way various classes pay taxes in this country. For small business owners, business tax is an important issue, since they usually don't bring in enough income to qualify for the corporate tax breaks enjoyed by much larger businesses.

Clinton
the tax issue by levying higher taxes on the top one-percent of earners in the country.

Those earning more than five million annually would see a four percent surcharge tax, while those making more than a million would be subject to the Buffett rule, which would require a tax rate of at least 30 percent. Trump backed off his initial plan, saying it was too costly, and now plans to set up three tax brackets, maxing out at 33 percent. He said his plan would bring relief to middle-income Americans and businesses.

Helping Businesses


Both candidates
of helping small businesses. Clinton's plan includes support for incubators, as well as changing tax laws to make it easier for small businesses to get started.

She also hopes to streamline the licensing process for businesses of all sizes. Her plan to provide entrepreneurs student loan relief could help unburden young entrepreneurs, giving them the freedom to put any earnings they make back into their business.

Among the small business community, Trump opponents hope the candidate's corporate background will mean he'll focus on their interests while in office. One of the biggest benefits could come from his interest in keeping more jobs in America, which would mean more opportunities for them. His plan is to reduce the corporate income tax rate to 15 percent from its current 35 percent.

For small business owners, there are benefits to both candidates on various issues. It's important to get the full picture of where each candidate stands before heading to the polls. Over the next four to eight years, the nation's leader could make sweeping changes that will make it easier to be a small business owner in this country.