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Molly Brogan Day
Washington, D.C. – Tonight’s State of the Union Address from President Barack Obama held good and bad implications for America’s small businesses. The National Small Business Association (NSBA) was pleased to hear the president’s support for enhancing exporting opportunities for small firms and sensible immigration reform. However, he missed the mark in calling for economic security through a drastic increase to the minimum wage and failing to offer a serious path forward on the very serious fiscal issues facing the country.
“Unfortunately, despite a brief mention, the President’s address largely ignored the giant elephant in the room—our looming long-term fiscal crisis,” stated Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO. “This ongoing fiscal avoidance is no way our members would run their business and certainly no way to run our country.”
President Obama’s pledge to sign an Executive Order to bump federal contractors’ minimum wages up to $10.10 would create a competitive disadvantage for small contracting firms who also operate in the private marketplace. Such a large increase will force increased prices, making them less competitive in the private marketplace where many of their competitors aren’t federal contractors.
Obama’s call to enact immigration reform ought to be taken seriously by Congress where legislation should be sought that ensures appropriate access to workers of all skill levels without unfair or overly burdensome requirements.
Addressing innovation, Obama called for limiting needless litigation, and, while NSBA supports reasonable efforts to protect small businesses from unnecessary and unwarranted patent infringement actions, the bill passed by the House will ultimately do more harm to small inventors.
“Our calls for bipartisan cooperation and compromise are, sadly, becoming as much a broken record as these annual addresses’ rehashing of old political platitudes,” said NSBA Chair Jeff Van Winkle of Clark Hill in Michigan. “The President’s call to ‘make this a year of action’ echoes what small businesses have been demanding for some time.”
Celebrating more than 75 years in operation, NSBA is a staunchly nonpartisan organization advocating on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. NSBA’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S., and we are proud to be the nation’s first small-business advocacy organization. Please visit www.nsba.biz or @NSBAAdvocate.