What’s In-Store for Small Business Owners in 2017?

President Trump has vowed to reduce regulations on business throughout his campaign, and with his first two weeks in office, proves to be a man of his word.  This is why many business owners are optimistic about 2017, not only is the President looking to loosen these regulations, but the administration has also promised to repeal the ACA and simplify the tax code.  Both of which, are no small undertaking.

The President has signed an executive order dubbed the “one in, two out” plan, that requires federal agencies requesting to enact a new regulation, to dismiss two existing regulations.  And to give you an idea of how the Code of Federal Register has changed, in 1975 the CFR had 71,224 pages as compared to 178,277 by the end of 2015.  These pages “provide a sense of the scope of existing regulations with which American businesses, workers, and consumers must comply.”  According to the “2017 Small Business Regulations Survey”, on average, a small business owner spends $12,000 a year dealing with regulations, and an astounding $83,019 in the first year of business.  Now, any small business owner understands how important those first few years are, as the saying goes, they can make or break you.  The overall goal in simplifying the tax code is for the average American to be able to keep more of their wages.  That being said, the tax code is as complex as it is simply because it covers a vast range of issues.

The ACA has put many small business owners in a very difficult position, which may not be evident to most employees.  The ruling states that any business with 50 or more full-time employees is mandated to provide healthcare or face a penalty.  Most owners that I have personally dealt with fear that hitting that 50-employee mark will have devastating effects on the business.  They must make concessions that are not always in the best interest of the business, whether that means not expanding or cutting hours, to make at one point full-time employees, now part-time.  The cost analysis is simple, most employers know that bringing on that one employee, bringing them to 50, will not generate enough revenue to cover the cost of implementing insurance.  Now this hinders the business’ potential to grow, and overall, hinders the overall growth of the economy.