Washington Watch - June 16, 2010


Washington Watch - June 16, 2010

Self-Employed Send A Message to Washington With Viral Ad Campaign

The NASE launched a digital advertising campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the policy priorities of the self-employed and micro-businesses while combating the stereotype that the nation’s smallest businesses do not make serious contributions to the economy. The ads, which are running on inside-the-beltway news Web sites, depict a self-employed business owner wearing a suit, tie…and bunny slippers.

“We are undertaking this public awareness effort to shake up the unfortunate perception that if you are your own boss and work from home, your job is not as valuable as an office or factory job,” says Kristie Arslan, executive director of the legislative offices of NASE. “Not only do the self-employed contribute nearly a trillion dollars to our nation’s economy every year, but their businesses allow them to successfully provide for their families and contribute to their local communities.”

The vast majority – 95% – of all small businesses in the United States are either self-employed entrepreneurs or micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees. There are about 25 million such businesses, which may have a storefront or be run out of a home office. Their small size makes them acutely aware of economic conditions and policy changes.

Though vulnerable to tough economic times, self-employed businesses have grown faster than all other segments of the economy in recent years and are historically a key driver of economic recovery after a recession. In fact, business startups reached their highest levels in 14 years during 2009, suggesting that laid-off workers are choosing to join the ranks of the self-employed rather than take their chances in a job market that remains unstable.

Some examples of current policy issues that have dramatic negative impacts on the self-employed include:

  • New IRS reporting requirements that will force any business that pays more than $600 per year to a vendor for business services, inventory or property to issue a Form 1099 to that vendor;
  • Continued lack of a standard home office tax deduction that would allow millions of self-employed individuals access to tax relief to which they are entitled; and
  • Exclusion from the small business health care tax credit in the recently passed health reform law if you are self-employed or hire family members in your business, leaving the self-employed to face skyrocketing health care costs in the years ahead.

NASE’s “bunny slippers” campaign includes members of the organization, including a tax accountant, a graphic designer and a disc jockey. To learn more about the campaign and NASE’s legislative priorities, please visit .

America's Self-Employed: Not So "Bunny"

The Obama Administration is trying desperately to create jobs and boost our sluggish economy. But the public increasingly thinks the President's economic policies are making things worse. The latest Pew Research Center survey clearly illustrates the pessimism that continues to loom like a dark cloud over the nation. For the first time, more people now believe that Administration policies have made economic conditions worse (29%) than they have made them better (23%).

For the nation's self-employed, the root of that pessimism is frustratingly simple: the Administration talks a good game about supporting small businesses while quietly issuing backdoor rules and regulations that pull the rug out from under our entrepreneurs. It's as though they just don't appreciate who small business owners are, how they operate and why one more IRS reporting requirement can make the difference between just making it and packing it in.

As an advocate for the nation's self-employed businesses and micro-business owners (those with fewer than 10 employees), I attend a lot of meetings on Capitol Hill and with the White House. My general impression is often that our policymakers are out of touch with the overall employment picture. They don't seem to appreciate that being your own boss means that you have a job. More often than not, it means you have a great job.

Enter the National Association for the Self-Employed's "Not So 'Bunny" campaign.

Click here to read the rest of the blog post.

Estate Tax Provision May Pass With Small Biz Jobs Bill

Micro-business owners wishing to pass their companies on to a child or other family member may face a higher estate tax if Congress fails to act. A small business jobs bill making its way through the Senate could include a provision on the estate tax.

The estate tax rates under George Bush expired at the end of 2009, but will return to higher rates. In 2011, the estate tax would be set to 55 percent and the per-person exemption will be set at $1 million, both much higher than previous rates.

Senators Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., have collaborated on a bill that would offer an esate tax rate of 35 percent and a per-person exemption of $5 million. The bill approved by the House last year would have split the difference between the 2011 rates and previous rates.

Still up in the air is how the bill will be offset, which fiscal hawks in Congress have demanded.

Stay tuned to NASE Advocacy for more develpoments on this issue.

Survey: U.S. Energy Policy

In light of the recent environmental disaster in the Gulf, the NASE would like to hear your opinion on the direction our nation should take with our energy policy. Please take NASE's Monthly Survey regarding your thoughts on energy policy.

Click here to take the survey.

Washington Watch Online

Visit NASE Advocacy to view archived editions of Washington Watch. While you’re there, read the latest updates from the Washington, D.C. office, write your Congressperson, and find out how you can join the fight for micro-business.

Courtesy of NASE.org