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2019 Self-Employed and Small Business Owner Sentiment

As a founding member of the Small Business Roundtable (SBR), a coalition of small business organizations charged with advocating and promoting sound small business policy, we joined with other organizations to conduct a post midterm election poll that found small business owners are concerned about the impact the 116th Congress will have on issues important to them. The poll commissioned by SBR was comprised of 445 small business owners from across the country in the days immediately following the midterm elections.

Results from the poll clearly demonstrated how small business owners felt about issues important to them, such as the need for the 116th Congress to immediately focus on fixing the Affordable Care Act by tackling health care affordability and access to quality care which continue to plague America’s entrepreneurs. 31 percent of respondents said they want Congress to address health care, more than double any other public policy issue asked about in the poll. After attempts to repeal the health care law, policy discussions about how to fix the existing law and make it work better for all Americans were unfortunately left on the cutting room floor.

We remain supportive of the Affordable Care Act and encourage the next Congress to address it by working together to fix its shortcomings. Small business owners and entrepreneurs care about quality, affordable health care for not only themselves, but also for their employees and coworkers. In fact, newly instituted rules allowing for greater flexibility in the use of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) — an issue the small business community has been advocating in support of for years — is just one example of how we can work together to offset rising health care premiums while strengthening the ACA.

A distant second in our SBR poll (15 percent) indicated that they desire action on tax reform and simplification. The major tax legislation passed late last year is about to turn a year old; yet, the real impact is still yet to be determined for many small businesses. But, still half of the small businesses who took the survey indicated that the new Congress will hurt the impact of tax reform, while 34 percent believed they would have no impact on it.

As the leading advocate for the nation’s self-employed, we supported the new tax law and have argued that its passage offers more simplification in the process, saving time and money for small business owners. But at the same time, many small business owners are unsure how to make it work for them. In an NASE survey conducted earlier this year, an overwhelming majority of poll takers didn’t completely understand how the law would impact their business. Many felt the government didn’t adequately prepare them for how to make the law work for their businesses.

It is critical for the 116th Congress to work across the aisle in a bipartisan way to help support our nation’s small business community. Good solutions know no party labels and the millions of self-employed small business owners we represent — and those members of the Small Business Roundtable — want the same kind of collaborative, results-oriented action they employ to achieve business success coming from this new Congress.

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