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Posted: August 03, 2011

Seven great ways to support the real “job creators”

Making the rich richer doesn't help the economy -- small business does

John Heckers

There is a great deal of talk in Mordor...oops, I mean...Washington, about "job creators." But this is just more jaw-flapping from those who want to give the wealthy more wealth and destroy the middle class. It is small business, not the wealthy or mega-corporations, who create jobs.

But the middle class and small businesses have had virtually no benefits from anything the government has done for many years, under either party's administration. Unfortunately, neither the Dempublicans nor Republocrats care a whit about the actual engine that drives employment in this country - the small businessperson.

Here are some things that could be done to actually create jobs rather than give tax loopholes to oil companies, corporate jet owners and those who buy yachts.

1). A payroll tax holiday. A one year payroll tax holiday for small businesses (say, under 50 employees) would allow many of us to hire one or two additional people. Multiply that by the millions of small businesses out there and you have a real dent made in unemployment at minimal cost to the government.

2). A tax credit for those of us who give our employees health insurance. Rather than give GE billions of dollars in tax credits, give some credit to the actual backbone of America's business and solve a great deal of the "uninsured employed" problem as well. Give small business a tax loophole when we cover our employees.

3). Have one place to file taxes. I have to employ a payroll company to do our very small payroll. Why? The (expletive deleted) government makes us file various taxes so many places with so many forms that only professionals can keep up with it. This costs me $120 a month that could go towards other, more useful, things in our business. And MUST every little neighborhood tax us?

4). Streamline health insurance. One of our folks spends 20 - 30 hours a month simply fighting with the health insurance company to get them to honor their contract and pay out what they're obligated to. We need strong laws to require simplified and understandable health insurance contracts, with clear and understandable statements of coverage, fewer exclusions, and strong requirements that they pay out what they are contractually required to pay.

5). Leave us alone! I'm not against all government regulation. But mom and pop businesses really shouldn't have to spend hours each year complying with regulations or being accountants. It isn't just the Feds, either. The Feds at least exempt very small businesses from many regulations, which is more than State and Municipal governments do. Even mom and pop businesses spend precious hours and financial resources kowtowing to the small-minded little bureaucrats inhabiting the rat-warren cubicle mazes of government offices. Leave us alone! There is really no need for all of the regulations (or even most of the regulations) small businesses must put up with.

6). Protect small businesses from lawsuits. It is far too easy for anyone to file a lawsuit for anything in this country. We desperately need to change our legal system so that frivolous lawsuits become very expensive for the one filing them, and there is a presumption of "innocence" on the part of a business absent a clear indication of negligence or malice. Simply making an honest mistake should not bankrupt a business. Nor should defending oneself from a frivolous lawsuit.

7). Make collection from deadbeats easier. Most small businesses are plagued with collections problems. It is incredibly time consuming and expensive to make deadbeats pay up in this country. It usually isn't that they can't pay. It is that it is so easy to stiff a small businessperson that some dishonest people just decide not to pay. There are many ways it could be made easier to collect from deadbeats. Understand that when a deadbeat doesn't pay, it has a ripple effect throughout the whole economy. If someone can't pay, most of us will negotiate. It's those who can, but won't, who irritate us.

The fact is that neither major party is truly pro-small-business. But small business drives the engine of our nation's economy and will drive any recovery we have. Supporting some very real help for America's small businesses is supporting your very livelihood and the economic recovery of all of America. It will be opposed by both bought and paid for political parties, but it is essential for our country and our people.

Meet with your colleagues for highly effective job search networking August 8th at the DAC. Executives, go here. Management, business, professional and technical, go here. NO VENDORS and nothing is sold.

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John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC was an Executive, Relationships, Life and Spiritual Coach in Denver with 30 years of experience  helping people with their lives, relationships and careers.

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Readers Respond

Rick, I had the same reaction to John's article. I couldn't believe it as compared to his usual liberal bias. Good article John. EVERYONE gives lip service to small business and your "suggestions" are good but will never be taken up until we replace this administration and HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. Now that's one thing that I can REALLY go along with the Tea Party on. Get them to define their views and then vote them out when they don't follow them. It's sad that John's good suggestions will not work, because I believe that the problem is more at the core. Small business people simply DO NOT trust the government in any way so they are holding on to their money. That is against their nature because small business people WANT to invest and expand, but they're not stupid. When they don't trust the rules they don't play the game. Until we can get some trust back we won't play. Perhaps you can make suggestions how that can be achieved. I'm not sure By John Wray on 2011 08 17
You all may be interested in who actually is benefiting from the Congressional Tax Breaks and whom the Republicans and Obama are protecting with their tax loopholes (in addition to the mega-corporations who pay less taxes than our administrative assistants do and who created less jobs than I did last year!) Here is a link that breaks down who actually rules America and who benefits from the Republican tax breaks. "ain't" you or me. By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 08 04
Betty --- Yes, I know that some of the oil is produced by smaller companies and those would fall under the mantle of small business. But let's not cut Exxon major breaks. When I speak of small businesses, I include ALL SMALL BUSINESS. Mega corps are what I have universal distaste for, whether it is Goldman-Sachs or Texaco. These huge corps breed evil and abuse of power. Rick -- I have NEVER said that government is ALWAYS a solution...or even that it usually is. NEVER. I just think that the knee-jerk "Me hate all government. Me love all private business." is not bright. Government is not ALWAYS (or even usually) the solution. But it is SOMETIMES the solution. And privatizing is not always the solution, either, tho' it SOMETIMES is the solution. As Obi-Wan Kenobi said in Star Wars, only the Sith (evil ones) deal in absolutes. And, Rick, we DID have a term limits law here, but the selfsame conservatives who brought us the Citizens United decision that allow the Chamber of Commerce and other mega-corps to buy the American elections got that one declared unconstitutional as well. "Conservatives" generally mean "pro-big-business" and "anti-control-of-the-people." Face it. "Conservatives" don't conserve anything except the money of the top 1% of the wealthy and "Progressives" don't do one darned thing for progress. Both "sides" are anti the middle class and determined that we all will be serfs working for corporate evidenced by the sold out to the corporations debt "deal" that Obama and the Dempublicans and Republocrats engineered to shaft us, the people, this past week. By John Heckers, MA, CPC, BCPC on 2011 08 04
Rick, didn't Colorado pass a law to term limit its congressmen and it got overthrown as being unconstitutional? By Nathan on 2011 08 04
Nathan... Good comments and I agree that term limits are going to have more positive influence than anything we can do. I belong to a conservative networking group and we are looking at the possibility of limiting service time via state laws. Not sure if we can start the process at that level but digging. They certainly won't vote it in on their own. By Rick on 2011 08 04
I'd argue that one giant step towards achieving all of these things would be instituting term limits in both the US House and Senate - 12 years for each. That way our congresspeople will be more likely to have some real world experience and actually take these topics seriously when addressing legislation. It will also impact campaign finances by diluting the powerful influence of lobbyists and the back room deals that only benefit the very wealthy. Having 535 people vote themselves out of job in 12 years is pretty unlikely, though, so I'm certainly not holding my breath that this will happen. By Nathan Jansch on 2011 08 03
John, I agree with you whole heartedly as small business IS the backbone of our economy. I also recommend staircasing the "small business" benefits for >150 employees, then >100 employees and (most) benefits for the smallest of businesses >50 employees. By Dave Z on 2011 08 03
John, enjoy your columns. More personal responsibility on the part of all would help both large and small, companies and people. Less regulation, less taxes, less intrusion. Free up creativity, motivation, and innovation. But citizens and consumers need to step up - if they see a greedy, polluting, immoral company - DON'T Buy the product and in today's digital age - do your research, make sure you have concrete facts and then spread the word. The company will change their practice or go out of business. Crime should be punished swiftly, fairly, and with the least amount of cost to all. Not paying a bill is theft, plain & simple. The people have the power - they just choose not to use it. By Heather on 2011 08 03
John, Not all oil companies are "big OIl companies" The majority of production in the United States comes from small to mid-size companies that actually add jobs, care about the environment and want for the U.S. to be energy independent. It is easy to lump your distaste for oil and gas production into let's get rid of those guys but you still want heat in the winter and to drive your car to work each day. Cut us small guys some slack will you. Support our U.S. based indendent oil and gas companies and let us add the jobs that we all need. Do some reseach before you make blanket statements. Betty By Betty on 2011 08 03
John... we finally agree on something. Tolkien too! I just found it hard to believe that you want less government in your life! Tort and Tax reform are a start! Big corporations can be toxic but it is the gleeful receivers in the cesspool of DC that allow them to be. More character and less term would cure alot of our ills. By Rick on 2011 08 03

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