President Bush urged Congress last night to quickly push through a stimulus package. But do you guys need one? I'm talking to all of you small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Health care reform would probably do more to help you all, I know, but at least Congress and the White House are planning to throw you a bone as part of the stimulus package.
Small business advocacy groups seem happy with the bone, which includes tax provisions for small firms.
"We are very pleased that the deal announced today includes many of the key tax provisions which NFIB listed as our top priorities for any economic stimulus package," says Dan Danner, executive vice president of the National Federation of Independent Business.
But do you need to be stimulated?
|Ron Edmonds / AP file|
Here's what the government's economy spurring packages has in store for all of you, according to NFIB:
* Increasing the dollar amount for small-business expensing limits. This will allow small-business owners to immediately write off business purchases and will help small-business owners expand their businesses. Allowing immediate expensing is an incentive for small-business owners to make investments in their business and can be more valuable than depreciating the investment over a long period of time.
* A 50 percent bonus depreciation deduction. This proposal provides an additional one-year depreciation deduction value to 50 percent of the value of the property. Bonus depreciation is an incentive for businesses to invest in their business now, providing an immediate deduction for half the cost of the investment.
A nice little pick-me-up for sure, if indeed it were needed.
In one survey of 2000 small businesses by Information Strategies, most respondents said the economy was doing badly. But, when asked how they were doing, 92 percent said things were pretty good and there was little or no fallout from the housing crisis.
But that doesn't mean small companies can't always use a hand.
"The real key is to get the speculators out of the oil market and bring down the price of [gasoline] 20 cents. That will really help," says JoAnn Laing, president and CEO of Information Strategies, publisher of the Small Business Digest.
Also, she adds, "Small businesses cater to the consumer side of the economy more than many realize. Two-thirds of our economy is tied up in consumer-driven side. If people were given confidence that things were going to be okay, (hard to do in an election year) a lot of worries would go away."
So, getting people to believe the economy is sound would go a long way in helping small business owners, she maintains.
"If you take away the jitters on Wall Street and the fact that a lot of people got rich scamming poor people who wanted a home, other parts of the economy are doing well. Remember Franklin Roosevelt's first fireside chat. 'I give you my word that the banks are sound' he told the people, and they believed him. The banking crisis went away."
Can you guys picture George Bush chatting to the nation as he sits by a roaring fire?
It would be a lot easier than trying to get the Republicans and Democrats to decides on how much money to hand out or how many tax cuts to make, that's for sure.