Leading the News
Small Business Owners Applaud Senate’s Passage of Tax Relief (03/22/2023)
AUSTIN (March 22, 2023) – Small business owners applaud the Senate’s passage of (SB 5) which would provide meaningful tax relief for local job creators. Introduced by Sen. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound), SB 5 increases the inventory tax exemption and offers a credit toward the franchise tax. NFIB has made cutting the inventory tax a top priority for the 88th Legislature, with paid statewide radio and digital advertisements to encourage legislators to provide needed tax relief to Texas small businesses. Following the Senate’s passage of SB 5, NFIB State Director Annie Spilman said:
“This is the first tax relief measure of its kind to combine both inventory tax relief and a franchise tax credit to help businesses of all sizes, but particularly our small businesses. In the past three years, our local job creators have faced enormous challenges, and with our state’s $33 billion budget surplus, there’s no question they deserve meaningful tax relief this legislative session. This tax relief will allow small business owners to invest in their employees, meet their customers’ needs, and contribute to our communities. We look forward to working with lawmakers to get this tax relief across the finish line and to Governor Abbott’s desk for signature.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2023) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, announced H.J.Res. 27, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) final rule, as an NFIB Key Vote for the 118th Congress.
“The WOTUS standard and definition has changed numerous times, complicating the clarity small businesses need in order to comply with government regulations,” said Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB Vice President of Federal Government Relations. “The final rule issued by the EPA and the Department of the Army was premature as the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to issue a decision on Sackett v. EPA. Small businesses applaud the U.S. House for passing this disapproval of the final rule and working to ease the regulatory burdens on small businesses.”
NFIB members have identified “unreasonable government regulations” as one of the top problems facing their businesses. Last year, NFIB filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Sackett v. EPA arguing that the EPA should reverse the lower court’s decision and clarify the proper test for determining the outer bounds of federal authority under the Clean Water Act.
Tyler v. Hennepin County asks whether Minnesota’s “home-equity theft” violates the Fifth Amendment (03/06/2023)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 6, 2023) – NFIB filed an amicus brief at the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Geraldine Tyler v. Hennepin County. The case concerns the Takings Clauses’ Just Compensation requirement as it relates to a property’s equity. The Just Compensation requirement mandates that the government pay the property owner whenever it takes possession of the owner’s property.
“This case highlights a fundamental amendment of our country’s Constitution,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Small business property owners work hard to comply with various regulations and pay numerous taxes at every level of government. Due to the Fifth Amendment, the government has no authority to keep a surplus of money accumulated and harm property owners. NFIB urges the Supreme Court to reverse the Eighth Circuit’s decision.”
The case questions whether the Takings Clause prevents the government, after seizing and selling a person’s property to collect back taxes, from keeping the surplus amount collected from the sale. This government practice is commonly referred to as “home-equity theft.”
NFIB filed the amicus brief with the Buckeye Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Manhattan Institute, Platte Institute, and Illinois Policy Institute.
NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center continues to answer questions on the ERTC (02/01/2023)
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), also called the ERC, continues to be one of the NFIB Small Business Legal Center’s most frequently asked about topics. The ERTC expired in 2021, but there is still time for employers to retroactively claim this tax credit for qualifying wages paid to employees. What is the ERTC?
The ERTC is a direct dollar-for-dollar reduction against the federal employment taxes that employers pay and report on a quarterly basis in their Employer Federal Tax Return (Form 941). A business can claim the credit on qualifying wages paid to employees for any quarter between March 13, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2021.
How do I know if my business qualifies?
There are two general ways a business can qualify for the ERTC:
- The business experienced a decline in gross receipts (at least 50% decline for 2020 quarter; at least 20% decline for 2021 quarter) compared to the same quarter in 2019; or
- The business experienced a full or partial suspension of business operations due to a government order. This provision also extends to suppliers of a business. If a business can prove its operations were impacted because of the inability to obtain goods or materials from its suppliers, it may qualify for ERTC.
NFIB to Congress: Prioritize Small Business Growth Agenda (01/13/2023)
NFIB highlights legislative priorities for the 118th Congress
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 13, 2023) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization released a “Small Business Growth Agenda for the 118th Congress,” which highlights feedback from NFIB small business members and reflects the top small business legislative priorities.
“Small businesses are facing economic uncertainty coming out of pandemic restrictions along with historic inflation,” said Kevin Kuhlman, NFIB Vice President of Federal Government Relations. “With the start of the 118th Congress, it is crucial that members of Congress prioritize small businesses and focus on legislation that will strengthen the small business economy.”
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NFIB's Courtney Titus Brooks pens op-ed on Small Business Deduction (01/10/2023)
NFIB's Courtney Titus Brooks pens op-ed on Small Business Deduction
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 10, 2023) – The Washington Times has published a new op-ed, penned by NFIB Federal Government Relations Director Courtney Titus Brooks. In the op-ed, she explains why Congress should give Main Street permanent relief by taking action to make the Small Business Deduction permanent.
“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act marked its fifth anniversary over the holidays. While this law was a significant win for Main Street, the looming expiration of important tax benefits is challenging small-business owners’ ability to plan. They are increasingly worried that one of the law’s most important provisions, the ‘Small Business Deduction,’ is more than halfway to expiration, and there’s no urgency to extend it. The expiration would result in economic consequences such as lower optimism and less investment, which is why Congress should make the deduction permanent in the 118th Congress.
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Main Street: Expectations for Better Business Conditions Remain Low (03/14/2023)
Inflation continues to be top small business problemM/P>
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14, 2023) – The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased 0.6 points in February to 90.9 but remains below the 49-year average of 98. Twenty-eight percent of owners reported inflation as their single most important business problem, up two points from last month. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months deteriorated two points from January to a net negative 47%.
“Small business owners remain doubtful that business conditions will get better in the coming months,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “They continue to struggle with historic inflation and labor shortages that are holding back growth. Despite their economic challenges, owners are working hard to create new jobs to strengthen the economy and their firms.”
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 9, 2023) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal:
“The small business economy is still recovering, and business outlook is near historic lows. The expanding list of tax increases included in the FY 2024 proposed budget would crush Main Street’s ability to grow and create jobs,” said Brad Close, NFIB President. “Certain tax increases are being wrongly characterized as a closing of a ‘loophole’ and would compound with other rate hikes. The combination would directly hit small businesses as they manage ongoing economic headwinds. Congress and the administration should instead focus on policies that will provide certainty and promote economic growth to allow small businesses to create jobs and raise wages.”
NFIB released a “Small Business Growth Agenda for the 118th Congress,” which features feedback from NFIB small business members and highlights legislative priorities that would benefit small businesses.
NFIB Files Amicus Brief Supporting Small Businesses’ Right to Arbitration (01/30/2023)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 30, 2023) – NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case Coinbase Inc. v. Abraham Bielski at the U.S. Supreme Court disagreeing with the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, which forces parties to simultaneously litigate arbitrable disputes at the trial court during an arbitrability appeal at the court of appeals. NFIB’s brief argues that the right to arbitrate is fundamentally a “right not to litigate the dispute in a court” and instead to have the dispute resolved through arbitration.
“Small businesses benefit from arbitration as an alternative to litigation, as arbitration allows owners to resolve disputes promptly and efficiently,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Arbitration is often used by small business owners because it is a more cost-effective option compared to costly litigation. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will agree and reverse the lower court’s ruling.”
The case concerns arbitration cases under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). NFIB filed the amicus brief with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Inflation remains top business problem for small employers (01/10/2023)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 10, 2023) – The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined 2.1 points in December to 89.8, marking the 12th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months worsened by eight points from November to a net negative 51%. Inflation remains the single most important business problem with 32% of owners reporting it as their top problem in operating their business.
“Overall, small business owners are not optimistic about 2023 as sales and business conditions are expected to deteriorate,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are managing several economic uncertainties and persistent inflation and they continue to make business and operational changes to compensate.”
Key findings include:
- Forty-one percent of owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, down three points from November but historically very high.
- The net percent of owners raising average selling prices decreased eight points to a net 43% (seasonally adjusted), historically high.
- The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher worsened two points from November to a net negative 10%.
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NFIB Statement on Delay of Burdensome IRS $600 Threshold Reporting Requirement Impacting Small Businesses (12/28/2022)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 28, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, released the following statement regarding the IRS announcement that they will delay the expanded Form 1099-K reporting requirement for annual transactions in excess of $600 from online platforms like eBay, Etsy, Venmo, and CashApp.
“The one-year Administrative delay by the IRS allows small businesses to breathe a sigh of relief from being inundated with new Form 1099-K reporting early next year,” said Vice President of Federal Government Relations Kevin Kuhlman. “The delay provides more time to increase the thresholds and reduce the paperwork burden on small businesses. NFIB urges Congress to continue working to provide relief from this burdensome reporting requirement.”
Inflation Pressures Ease Slightly on Main Street but Remains the Top Business Problem (12/13/2022)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 13, 2022) – Inflation remains the top business problem for small business owners, with 32% of owners reporting it as their single most important problem in operating their business, five points lower than July’s highest reading since the fourth quarter of 1979. The Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.6 points in November to 91.9. November’s reading is the 11th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98.
“Going into the holiday season, small business owners are seeing a slight ease in inflation pressures, but prices remain high,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The small business economy is recovering as owners manage an ongoing labor shortage, supply chain disruptions, and historic inflation.”
Wages and Benefits
New NFIB Survey: Health Insurance Costs Remain a Significant Challenge for Small Businesses (03/23/2023)
Costs is the biggest problem for small employers offering and not offering health insurance
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 23, 2023) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released a new survey assessing small businesses and health insurance. The data reveals that small businesses are facing a substantial affordability crisis in providing health insurance for their employees. Most small business owners find it challenging to manage the cost of offering employer-sponsored health insurance and almost half have taken a lower profit or suffered a loss to pay for health insurance premium increases over the last five years.
“Health insurance has been a continuous challenge for small business owners,” said Holly Wade, Executive Director of NFIB’s Research Center. “The cost of health insurance is by far the biggest challenge for employers who offer health insurance and for those who do not offer it. Small employers compete for talent in filling open positions and are aware that health insurance is an important benefit for many employees and job seekers.”
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Nearly half of small businesses have job openings they can’t fill
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 9, 2023) – Forty-seven percent (seasonally adjusted) of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report.
“The small business labor demand remained strong in February,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Small business owners are working to maintain competitive compensation and are raising compensation in the hopes of filling their open critical positions.”The percent of small business owners reporting labor quality as their top small business operating problem remains elevated at 21%, down three points from January. Labor cost reported as the single most important problem to business owners increased two points to 12%, down one point below the highest reading of 13% reached in December 2021.
Ninety-one percent of owners trying to hire report few or no qualified applicants (02/02/2023)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 2, 2023) – According to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 57% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in January, up two points. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 91% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-seven percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 25% reported none.
“The labor shortage continues to be a major concern for small businesses in the New Year as nearly all owners trying to hire are reporting no or few qualified applicants,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Small businesses’ sales opportunities are limited because of the staffing shortage but owners continue to make changes in business operations to compensate.”
Forty-five percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up four points from December.
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Labor quality as a top business problem remains elevated (11/03/2022)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 3, 2022) – According to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, small business owners continue to struggle with labor issues as 23% of owners report labor quality as their top business problem, second to inflation. Ten percent of owners report labor cost as their top business problem, a historically high reading.
“The labor shortage remains a challenging problem for small business owners,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Because of staffing shortages, small business owners are less able to take full advantage of current sales opportunities and continue to make business adjustments to compensate.”
Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 20% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, down three points from September but still historically strong.
Sixty-one percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in October, down three points from September. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 90% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. For all firms, including those not actively hiring, 30% of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 25% reported none.
Seasonally adjusted, a net 44% reported raising compensation, down one point from September but just six points below the 48-year record high set in January....
Small business owners explain how staffing shortages are impacting their businesses (10/12/2022)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 12, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, released a new video today featuring small business owners from across the nation discussing how staffing shortages are impacting their businesses.
Forty-six percent of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. Owners reporting labor quality as their top business problem remains elevated at 22% and 10% of owners reported labor cost as their single most important problem.
NFIB webinar explains the employment process to help recruit and retain workers (06/14/2022)
On June 1, the “Hiring & Retaining the Best Talent in a Tight Labor Market: HR Basics for Small Business” webinar was hosted by Senior Executive Counsel for the NFIB Small Business Legal Center Elizabeth Milito and Executive Director for the NFIB Research Center Holly Wade.
NFIB’s research shows that small business owners are struggling with workforce shortages. Forty-seven percent of small business owners are reporting they have job openings they could not fill, and an NFIB survey shows expectations for better business conditions in six months is the lowest it’s been in the nearly 50-year survey.
“While the last two years really demonstrated how resilient and important small businesses are to our economy, I would say that small businesses run America, the pandemic also showed some inefficiencies and deficiencies in businesses,” Milito explained. “Small business and larger businesses too, particularly when it comes to issues related to recruitment and retention of employees.”
For small business owners, it is important to re-examine the processes that are being used for recruiting employees and finding new and effective ways to retain employees.