Answering the Small Business SOS

This is National Small Business Week, a great time to consider the role small businesses play in communities across America and their invaluable place at the center of the American economy. With small businesses accounting for more than half of our GDP and comprising over 99 percent of America’s employers, it’s clear the future of our small businesses is the future of America.

Often, the biggest hurdle a small business faces is simply getting off the ground. On top of difficulty accessing capital and credit to opne the doors for the first time or hire the first employee, the sheer number of regulations small businesses are facing has proven to be a problem of its own. The costs of compliance for these burdensome formalities have a direct effect on small businesses’ bottom line. Whether they are dealing with the fees and taxes associated with Obamacare, trade restrictions or telecommunication policies, small businesses are continually drawing the short straw.

Small business owners in Ohio have also repeatedly expressed their frustrations with the complexity of the tax code and the revenue they have lost as a result of spending countless hours navigating through its semantics. Just last month, we had a hearing at the Small Business Committee where I was happy to host Scott Lipps, a business owner from Franklin. “The small business owner works in the community, hires in the community and lives in the community,” Scott told us. “To serve our employees and our community, we must have lower tax rates, fewer regulations, and a less confusing, less complex tax code.”

According to the National Small Business Association, over half of small businesses spend an entire work week deciphering the four million words that make up our tax laws. Our tax code hasn’t been overhauled since 1986 under President Ronald Reagan. The assumptions of that era—before the technology we know today—don’t translate to the needs of small businesses operating in the 21st century. Agreeing to tax reform that establishes a fairer, simpler and flatter tax for individuals as well as corporations is the first step we can take in revitalizing the landscape for small business owners.

If you work at a small business, own a small business, or love someone who’s working around the clock to keep a small business afloat, none of these issues are news to you. As the new chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I’m working hard to make sure Congress addresses these issues quickly. Earlier this year, I introduced the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2015 (H.R. 527), which passed in the House and awaits action in the Senate. This legislation gives millions of Americans working at small businesses a voice in the regulatory process, which should result in smarter, less overwhelming regulations. We also passed America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 636) in the House, ensuring pro-growth tax policies that help family businesses plan for the future.

Small businesses drive our economy because they’re at the heart of our communities. That’s what makes the American economy. It’s time we begin returning the favor.

-Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Chairman, House Small Business Committee

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