How Will Lawmaker Decisions Affect Small Businesses This Year?

Every year, government decisions can have a major impact on the ways in which independently-owned companies do business, and this is almost certainly going to be the case once again in 2014. However, it's important for owners to keep an eye on these issues, so that they can know what to expect going forward.

Perhaps chief among these concerns is the ways in which decisions made in capitol buildings nationwide will end up affecting small business owners and their companies' bottom lines is the ways in which they will change the tax code, according to a report from the Associated Press. On the one hand, it seems very likely that small business advocates and lobbyists will work hard to try to bring tax rates on entrepreneurs down. Fortunately, it seems that given that this is an election year, many politicians at the state and federal level may be willing to be a little flexible in this regard, which would be good news for owners across the country hoping to see some improvement to their bottom lines.

On the other hand
There has, in the past several months, been a ground swell of support for raising the minimum wage, the report said. To that end, 30 states and the District of Columbia all introduced bills to increase that level last year alone, with only four states (California, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island) passing them. Now, though, it seems the fact of the election year will rear its head once again, as seven more states are considered to be probable in terms of passing new laws to raise the minimum wage within their borders, and that could end up affecting neighboring states as well, which will then be in a position to have to scramble to keep up. This may be mixed news for owners, as polls recently found that most support an increase, but that still leaves about one in three who are opposed to such an idea.

Similarly, a number of states are set to consider the ways in which businesses grant family and sick leave to their workers, the report said. This, too, could lead to impacted bottom lines due to potential losses in productivity.

Many owners hoping to shore up their finances may want to look internally, as well, to determine whether they can cut any of their ongoing costs. This can include finding more affordable small business insurance policies – including liability insurance – to potentially save companies thousands per year.