3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Nov. 7
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?
1. What to expect from President Obama's re-election. While the president's re-election takes away some uncertainty for small-business owners, the question is whether he can help them expand and create jobs.
Small-business owners are anxious about taxes and the federal deficit as well as the health-care overhaul and too much regulation. The Associated Press spoke to a few experts on what to expect now that President Obama will serve a second term.
On taxes, Congress is likely to keep battling over the president's proposed raising of the top tax rate to 39.6%. However, Congress is more apt to come together to pass more tax incentives to help small businesses, the article says.
What's sure is that health-care reform will go forward. Key provisions of the law will go into effect starting in 2014, which includes the requirement that businesses of 50 employees or more must provide health insurance to their employees or risk penalty. However, costs won't be determined until states set up exchanges where individuals and companies can buy coverage.
As far as the economy, there may not be much more Obama (or Romney for that matter) will be able to do to accelerate it, the article says. Still, the federal deficit must be addressed. Obama will have to curtail federal spending, which includes government contracting, an area many small businesses rely on. Hiring will likely remain on hold until the fiscal cliff is dealt with. If the deficit isn't lowered, taxes will likely rise in the coming years, leaving small-business owners even less money to invest in their companies, the article says.
As for regulation, a mixed bag is expected. Obama must be vigilant that the regulations aren't too burdensome.
2. Disaster loans soar. Small businesses across New York and New Jersey are scrambling to pare losses, with most lacking the staff to handle insurance claims or secure financing for rebuilding. Business owners say they are juggling the rebuilding efforts along with the attempts to get some much-needed capital, according to Reuters.
"At least 40% to 45% of our customers in these areas have asked for disaster loans," said Rohit Arora, the CEO of Biz2Credit.com, a New York-based online service that helps small businesses secure various forms of financing. "Over the next two weeks, I foresee a bigger increase," Arora told Reuters.
But there have been some stepped-up efforts to reach out to struggling businesses. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) pledged up to $5 billion of incremental capital to lend to small businesses affected by the hurricane. Goldman Sachs (GS) is working in conjunction with New York City to provide additional loans for storm-affected small businesses.
The SBA added 100 additional staff to its Buffalo, N.Y., customer call center and 128 field workers to assist with the onslaught of requests for recovery-related financing, Reuters says.