Live Long and Prosper – Unless You’re a Small Business

The famous words of the late Leonard Nimoy’s space adventurer Spock speak to the goals – but not necessarily the reality – of today’s small businesses.

We all want small businesses to live long and prosper – that means jobs. It means vibrant communities. It means the ladder of opportunity is within reach for more Americans.

And while this has been the case for most our nation’s history – new data paints a bleak picture of the last six years.

Research from Gallup finds that in each year under the Obama Administration, more businesses have shut their doors than opened them. Economists describe this as the number of business deaths exceeding the number of business births – which we all recognize as a huge problem.

Here are 5 things you should know:

1. Regulations keep piling up.

When surveyed, 24 percent of small business owners said that government is in some way their biggest challenge. Top-down regulations cost small firms $11,000 per employee annually. Here is the stack just from February, which is the shortest calendar month of the year. How can we expect startups to focus on their business and this pile of red tape?


2. Taxes are way too complex.

U.S. tax policies “raise the cost of capital, impose high taxes on risk taking, and impede economic growth.” Enough said. Americans deserve a simpler system that doesn’t discourage entrepreneurial risk taking.

3. Access to capital is critical.

Small business lending is still at pre-recession levels. This alone speaks volumes about the current state of our economy. Any entrepreneur needs capital to open his or her doors. The more difficult it is to come by, the more difficult it is to start or grow a business.

4. Obamacare still hurts.

No surprise here, Obamacare is making it harder to start and grow a business. Health care is routinely one of the most expensive elements of a business’s finances and Obamacare makes it worse by imposing high costs on firms with 50 or more employees, which disincentives growth.

5. An Opportunity Economy starts with small business.

Small businesses create 7 of every 10 new jobs. And new businesses are responsible for ALL net new jobs over the last three decades.

Entrepreneurs are the ones that dare us to boldly go where no man has gone before. That’s why the Small Business Committee is working to solve these challenges and build an opportunity economy. Together, we must make the goal of small businesses – to live long and prosper – a reality once again.

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