• Ric Armstrong

MORE HOT ISSUES FOR SMALL BUSINESS IN 2019


The Battle Brewing Over the Minimum Wage

A cornerstone of the liberal activist/socialist agenda in this term’s Congress, is a commitment to accelerating local, state and federal legislative efforts to increase the minimum wage. The potential impact on our small and medium-sized business clients is crystal clear: to increase labor costs for certain types of businesses while giving others an unfair competitive advantage.

On July 8 of this year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that sought to hike the federal minimum wage to $15/hour. At present, the Republican-held Senate is not expected to take up the legislation, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to do so. The passage of the House bill is only the latest in a series of efforts that raise the minimum wage that, according to some, have created a patchwork of regulations across the country. See, for example, CNBC .

According to Congressional Budget Office projections the federal wage hike, if enacted, would reduce business income, put nearly 1.3 million U.S. citizens out of a job, and significantly raise prices, since businesses would be forced to pass on higher labor costs to customers.

How About Apprenticeship & Training Programs?

Like it or not, we live in a time when governmental support can stimulate economic growth. The development of quality apprenticeship and workforce training programs at all levels of government would give a strong push to increasing employment opportunities with small businesses. This summer witnessed the latest announcement trumpeting apprenticeship expansion, and providing new optimism that this area will receive long overdue emphasis and development.

Ongoing Small Business Concerns

There are some persistent issues that small business will continue to face in the years ahead. These range from anti-business legislative attitudes at all levels of government to the need for further overhaul of the federal tax structure. There is a continuing scarcity of workable lending sources to stimulate even greater investment in new and existing small businesses. Although these and other challenges remain, lawyers at ATLF are optimistic that small business will continue to serve as a major economic and innovation engine for the U.S. in 2019, and beyond.