On January 20th we will have a new President. I will personally mourn the absence of the Obama family at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but at noon on 1/20/17 the guard changes. How will this guard change effect your small business? Many are unsure of what to expect because Trump did not offer up a plethora of concrete plans during his campaign and subsequent transition.
Uncertainty aside, any good small business owner knows that the key to success is a mix of planning and pivoting when necessary. In creating your strategic plans for the next 4 years you should consider Trump’s stance on regulations, taxes, and international trade.
Trump has proposed a moratorium on all new regulations and had pledged to roll back “every wasteful regulation which kills jobs.” Of particular interest to small businesses will be Trump’s actions related to employment, especially as it pertains to actions Obama took via Executive Order. These include rules that increased the minimum wage and granted paid sick days to workers hired by federal contractors. Small business owners should also expect changes to regulations that altered the salary threshold below which workers automatically become eligible for time-and-a-half overtime pay.
With respect to healthcare, republican lawmakers have already taken steps to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which in its current version requires small business owners with at least 50 employees to provide health insurance or be fined $2,000.00 per employee.
Donald Trump has said he will slash taxes and has advocated lowering the income tax on all companies to 15 %. S-Corps and other pass-through entities like LLCs, would also have a top tax rate of 15%. Small business owners often cite taxes as an impediment to growth. Many commentators, however, believe that any tax cuts or reform will benefit large corporations far more than small business owners.
For many small business owners expanding into international markets is part of their plan for strategic growth, and many local and state governments encourage small business owners to go on trade missions. Further, some organizations that represent small business owners have cited the North American Free Trade Agreement as a plus for small business trade and that it has resulted in more opportunities for small business owners to enter international markets. Trump has consistently taken a protectionist stance towards trade and wants to rollback old agreements like NAFTA, and modify other trade deals.
Small business owners who are thriving have always learned to adapt to new laws, regulations and economic realities. Whatever Trump’s plans may bring planning and pivoting will be crucial.