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- NEWS | CTA Delay and Oral Arguments
Efforts to prevent the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) from going into effect have ramped up in recent weeks. Yesterday, NSBA sent a letter to the House Committee on Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) urging a delay and ultimately repeal of the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) and called upon all lawmakers to support the Protecting Small Business Information Act of 2023 (H.R.4035). Additionally, the lawsuit NSBA has filed against the Department of Treasury and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is moving forward with the Judge in the case setting October 30 as the date for oral arguments. RELATED | NSBA Files Suit Against CTA on Behalf of Small-Business Owners Everywhere The CTA was signed into law Dec. 2020 and is set to go into effect January 2024 for all new business formations. This law will require ONLY businesses with fewer than 20 employees to disclose owners’ information to the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Contrary to its stated intent, the CTA has become an administrative distraction that will force millions of hours and upwards of $5.7 billion to be spent on lawyers and annual reporting. Furthermore, this paperwork burden is redundant - banks are already collecting the information FinCEN is seeking through the Customer Due Diligence (CDD). Stay tuned to NSBA for updates on the CTA.
- NEWS | House, SBA Focusing Funds for Small Business
More money, less problems for small business. On Wednesday, Sept. 27, the House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing on recouping stolen pandemic funds at 10:00 a.m. ET. With hundreds of millions estimated stolen as part of fraud during the pandemic, NSBA applauds agency efforts to recoup these funds and supports the oversight efforts on behalf of the House Small Business Committee. This hearing is an important step in ensuring accountability and fund recovery is a top priority. Watch the hearing here. RELATED | DOJ Continues Efforts to Recover Stolen COVID Funds Related to funds for small businesses, recently, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced growth accelerator fund awards of $150,000 to 35 partnerships across national priority areas. These awards are designed to help advance equitable investment in innovative startups and high-growth small businesses across several priorities, including National Security & Global Competitiveness, Domestic Manufacturing and Production, Climate and Renewable Energy, and Underserved Communities. Learn more about each Growth Accelerator Fund Competition partnership in the public directory here.
- NEWS | NSBA Joins PPWO in DOL Letter Requesting OT Comment Extension
More time is needed to analyze and respond to the proposed changes for overtime pay exemptions. This week, NSBA joined the Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity (PPWO) and 107 organizations on a letter to the Department of Labor (DOL) requesting a 60-day extension to the comment period for its proposed changes to “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees (RIN 1235-AA39).” RELATED NEWS | DOL Proposes New Overtime Rules These latest revisions would entitle millions of workers who are now exempt from overtime requirements to time and a half pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Additionally, this DOL proposal would raise the salary test from its current $35,568 level to $55,068 as the annual salary threshold. Employees below this new level working more than 40 hours in a workweek will remain eligible for overtime pay. Given the magnitude of this rule, an additional sixty days is reasonable and will ensure WHD will receive meaningful information, such as more accurate and informative comments and better understand how the economy and workers will be impacted by the changes being considered. Read the full letter here, submit comments here, and follow NSBA as we track the latest from the DOL.
- NEWS | CTA Update: New Compliance Guide
#CTA needs a delay - today. On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) unveiled their Small Entity Compliance Guide relative to the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA). Also referred to as “Beneficial Ownership Reporting,” the CTA is set to go into effect in a matter of months and will require ONLY businesses with fewer than 20 employees to disclose owners’ information to FinCEN. The compliance guide from FinCEN is intended to help businesses determine if they are required to report their beneficial ownership information to FinCEN, however the base regulations are so painfully vague, compliance will be a nightmare for most small businesses. While the intent of the law was to stem money laundering, the CTA is not only bad policy, it is unconstitutional. Failure of a small business to comply—intentional or not—could result in up to $10,000 in fines and up to two years in prison. NSBA has filed a lawsuit against Treasury over the implementing regulations of the CTA, however an act of Congress to repeal the law is the best way to ensure this bad policy doesn’t see the light of day. Please click here to view the compliance guide.
- NEWS | NSBA Pres., CEO Todd McCracken Joins Small-Business Panel
Tune in Friday to catch Todd speaking on behalf of NSBA and the nation’s entire small-business community! This week, NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken is participating in a panel on 21st Century Labor Policies to Promote Worker Freedom, Opportunity, and Entrepreneurship. Beginning Friday, Sept. 22 at 9:30 a.m., tune in for Session I of the Heritage Foundation’s discussion on How Economics and Government Policies Affect the Workplace. Additional panels include focused sessions, “Why Protecting Independence Is Vital for Opportunities and Flexibility,” and “The Role of Unions in the 21st Century.” Click here for additional speaker details, and tune in to catch Todd speaking on behalf of the small-business community this Friday!
- NEWS | Government Shutdown in the Forecast for Washington
Capitol Hill is cloudy with a chance of Shutdown for the foreseeable future. As of late Tuesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) does not have the votes to pass—or even consider—a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government in the House. While at the start of the day, there had been plans for a procedural vote on the CR deal brokered between the moderate Main Street and conservative Freedom Caucuses, the vote was quickly pulled off the calendar after a Republican Conference meeting on the issue. Additionally, a similar procedural vote to allow consideration of a Defense Appropriation bill failed, losing five Republicans. This is concerning, as this Defense vote was viewed by many as a bellwether for Republican leadership’s ability to corral support for the broader CR, given that the Defense bill was an easier vote for conservatives on the substance. The removal of the vote from the calendar is an admission from the Speaker’s camp that he does not have the support he needs, but it also buys him vital time to modify the bill and whip a few crucial votes. The early word is that Speaker McCarthy has instructed his leads on the CR to redraft the measure to win more conservative support, meaning that he is giving ground to the House Freedom Caucus, who demanded strong policy riders (elements of a funding bill that act to alter Federal policy without going through traditional channels) as a precondition for support. Speaker McCarthy’s move is liable to weaken his standing in Congress, though it is unlikely to change the outcome of the funding battle. The Senate under Democratic control is all but guaranteed to turn its nose at any Republican-led CR, and instead proceed on an alternative track, likely foisting its own “clean” (modification and policy-rider free) CR back on the lower chamber, daring them to oppose it. Had the Speaker won today’s vote, he might have been able to seek particular concessions in his negotiations with Senate leaders, but the Freedom Caucus’ rebellion has likely cost them that option. Currently, the consensus in Washington is that we are most likely headed to a shutdown, as the Senate refuses to consider Republican-driven bills, and a vocal minority in the House holds even conservative-led bills hostage with its newfound leverage. Millions of small businesses do business directly with the federal government and a shutdown would mean they won’t get paid—regardless of what services and goods they’ve already supplied. Furthermore, government shutdowns have historically succeeded in only two things: weakening the U.S. economy and confidence in our elected officials. “Not only will millions of small-business federal contractors and subcontractors will be impacted by contract delays, stoppages and cancellations, the trickle-down effects cannot be understated: every business in their supply chain, their employees and their families WILL feel the pinch of a government shutdown – they always do,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. He went on to comment that, “Small-business programs, such as those under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), particularly their lending programs, will begin to experience long delays due to the absence of staff and inevitable backlog of approvals or even forcing the smallest of businesses to spend money they don’t have on accountants to provide the assistance typically provided by the IRS. A small handful of elected officials are manufacturing a crisis out of partisan discord with a focus solely on reelection. This is unfair, unreasonable and unacceptable.” Stay tuned to NSBA for the latest updates on the potential government shutdown.
- NEWS | Washington Presentation 2023 Highlights
#WP2023 was a big success for small business! Wrapping after two days of important networking and meetings with key policymakers, NSBA’ s Washington Presentation (WP) was more impactful than ever, with nearly 200 small-business owners attending as our advocacy delegates. Headquartered at the Hyatt Regency DCA, WP 2023 kicked things off with NSBA’s quarterly Board meeting, where the Trustees discussed our long-term goals and strategy for supporting small business. NSBA Board Chair Bob Trieber and Washington Presentation Chair Tameka Montgomery then began welcoming the WP 2023 delegates, kicking our programming off with a networking lunch and our Advocate of the Year Awards Ceremony. This year’s award recipients include award finalists: Hope Blankenship of To the Rescue Bookkeeping, LLC in Diberville, Miss.; Sheletta Brundidge of ShelettaMakesMeLaugh, LLC in Cottage Grove, Minn.; Chyanne Hart of CAAM Logistics in Strasburg, Penn.; and Martha Hernandez of ESO Ventures in Oakland, Calif. NSBA also recognized Nora Oliver of 10X Nora Oliver, LLC in Woburn, Mass., with the Rising Star Award—an award for individuals just starting out as advocates for small business. The overall award winner was named for the first time publicly, Olalah Njenga of YellowWood Group, LLC in Raleigh, N.C., who shared some inspiring remarks with the delegation. “There is no job for you,” was the last thing Olalah was told before she began her small business. Instead of shrinking, Olalah chose to rise, and her incredible efforts for small business have continued to soar ever since. Congrats to the entire Awards Class of 2023! Joining the delegation were a handful of NSBA’s amazing partners: Amex Global Business Travel, Angel Oak Mortgage, Export-Import Bank of the U.S., and Judy Cyber Services. Following lunch, the WP Delegates then made their way to downtown Washington, D.C., for a briefing from key administration officials, including: Kylie Patterson – Senior Advisor for Opportunity and Inclusion at the National Institute of Standards and Technology CHIPS Program Office at the Dept. of Commerce; Jeff Stout – Director of SSBCI-Treasury; and Uma Hiremagalur – Deputy Program Director, Capital Readiness Program, Minority Business Development Agency at the Dept. of Commerce. While our group was too large to be accommodated by the White House, the Commerce building is one of the oldest in the Capital, and the auditorium’s opulence of a different era did not disappoint. Delegates then received a briefing from NSBA’s friends at the Prism Group, including an update on our Priority Issues. Rounding out the day, our Delegates then met for a rooftop evening reception followed by an exclusive screening of Amazon Studio’s new movie The Burial, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Jamie Foxx. Sharing the story of a family funeral home small business working against the pressures of a behemoth company, we were thrilled for the opportunity to watch this powerful movie in the comfort of Crystal City’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Thursday began bright and early, with Delegates boarding the buses to head to Capitol Hill. The sun may not have been all the way up, but our attendee’s energy sure was! We were ecstatic to welcome some incredible Members of Congress to speak to our delegation over breakfast, including conversations and connections on what Congress is doing for small business policy in the nation’s capital and around the country. Members of Congress addressing the Delegates included: Rep. Morgan McGarvey (D-KY-03), Rep. Mark Alford (R-MO-04), Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-08), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-28), Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ-02), Rep. Shri Thanedar (D-MI-13), and Rep. Hillary Scholten (D-MI-03). We were thrilled to see these Members of the Small Business Committee sharing their bipartisan views with such civility, as different perspectives will ultimately lay the foundation for stronger, more common-sensical small-business policy. Throughout the breakfast, NSBA leadership provided tips and insight on how to be the best lobbyist and advocate for small business during the Delegates’ congressional meetings. If you missed our virtual advocacy training on Wednesday, Sept. 6, you can view it in full here. Don’t forget to check back for other NSBA resources, including how best to build and grow your relationship with your Members of Congress! The Delegates were off from there to make the mark for small business across the Capitol complex, leaving behind materials and insights on what it’s like to run a small business under current laws, policies and regulations. Click here to download your copy of the handout materials, including focused information on four key NSBA issues prioritized in conversation by the WP Delegates: • Extend Expiring Tax Cuts • Enact the Credit Card Competition Act • Repeal the Corporate Transparency Act • Nominate and Confirm a Chief Counsel for Advocacy Thank you to our attendees, our partners, and all of our supporters in Congress for another successful Washington Presentation! Delegates, please don’t forget to follow up with your Members, and we’ll see you next year!
- NEWS | Recent Announcements from the NLRB, Treasury
Decisions providing easier paths to unionization are just the beginning. Recently, the administration has been pushing through several policy changes and reports initiated by organized labor. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a ruling in the Cemex case, a final direct rule over so-called ambush elections, and confirmed plans to issue a new rulemaking on its joint employer standard. Additionally, for the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued a report on the benefits of unions to the U.S. economy – a publication causing concern for many industry groups, including NSBA. CEMEX Case This recent NLRB decision stems from a case examining whether to reinstate precedented bargaining orders. Ultimately, the NLRB moved away from precedent, opening the door for union card checks over secret ballot elections and making this policy change without input from stakeholders. Under the new standard, when a union claims majority support, an employer has two options: They can voluntarily recognize the union and begin to bargain with them as the exclusive bargaining representative of the unit; or They can file a petition for an election with the NLRB, but they must do so within two weeks. If employers miss the 2-week window, the NLRB can issue a bargaining order requiring the employer to recognize and bargain with the union. Additionally, if the employer files within the 2-week window, but then commits any unfair labor practices against the union or workers between the filing of the petition and the holding of the election, the NLRB can also issue a bargaining order requiring the employer recognize and bargain with the union. Effectively, the NLRB’s decision limits employees’ abilities to vote in a secret ballot election. NSBA has ardently opposed this proposal in the past and will continue to do so. Ambush Elections On Aug 24, the NLRB issued a direct final rule altering the procedures for representation elections. The rule reverses changes made under the Trump administration, which, in turn, had reversed the Obama-era ambush election rule. There are 10 provisions in the final rule, all of which drastically shorten the time between a union filing a petition for election and the holding of that election. Like the Cemex decision, the NLRB issued this additional rulemaking without going through the formal notice-and-comment process, giving stakeholders no opportunity to weigh in with their concerns. NSBA also has historically opposed these kinds of changes and is continuing to push back against this overreach. The NLRB recently confirmed it would issue a new rulemaking on its Joint Employer standard. Department of Treasury Report Treasury released a report at the end of August focused on the “benefits of unions to the U.S. economy,” the report’s key findings are as follows: Middle class workers receive substantial benefits from unionization, including raising wages by 10-15 percent and improving fringe benefits and workplace procedures. The benefits of unionization have spillover effects for nonunion workers, including increased wages and improved workplace safety. Unions create a fairer economy, including by reducing race and gender wage gaps. Unions contribute to economic growth and resilience by reducing inequalities and boosting businesses’ productivity. This is the first such report ever issued by the Treasury Department and was one of the recommendations from the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment. In its press release, Treasury goes on to highlight some of the other task Force recommendations, including prioritizing passage of the PRO Act, appointing NLRB members and a General Counsel “committed to protecting the right of workers to organize,” and increasing NLRB funding. The report fails to account for the significant financial and compliance burden many of these recommendations pose for America’s small businesses. Read the full report, and check back here as NSBA stays checked in with the regulatory bodies producing policy affecting our small-business community.
- NEWS | DOL Proposes New Overtime Rules
Labor officials estimate these latest overtime changes will affect nearly 4 million employees. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed yet another set of revisions to section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). RELATED | Independent Contractor Rule Update These latest revisions would entitle millions of workers who are now exempt from overtime requirements to time and a half pay when they work more than 40 hours in a workweek. Additionally, this DOL proposal would raise the salary test from its current $35,568 level to $55,068 as the annual salary threshold. Employees below this new level working more than 40 hours in a workweek will remain eligible for overtime pay. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the DOL attempted to more than double the minimum threshold, from $23,660 to $47,476. The increase was overturned by a federal judge in Texas just 10 days before it was set to take effect, on the grounds that the DOL exceeded its authority by raising the threshold too high. The ruling also questioned whether the DOL had authority to set any threshold whatsoever. Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the Trump Administration successfully raised the threshold to its current level of $35,568. Currently, the FLSA requires employers to pay employees minimum wage, and there is an overtime requirement for time and a half pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Under section 13(a)(1) in its current form, there is an exemption for this time and a half pay requirement for employees working in a “bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity” (EAP exemption or white-collar employees). To meet this EAP exemption: The employee must be paid a predetermined, fixed salary not subject to reduction; The among of salary paid must meet a minimum specified amount; and The employee’s job duties must primarily involve executive, administrative, or professional duties. The DOL’s latest proposal increases minimum exempt salary levels to $1,059 per week ($55,068/year), which is the 35th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers, arguing that the proposed changes will “better define and delimit which employees are employed in a bona fide EAP capacity.” The DOL estimates that 3.4 million currently exempt employees who earn at least the current salary level of $684 per week, but less than the new proposed standard salary level of $1,059 per week, would receive overtime payments in the first year of the proposal’s enactment. In addition, 248,900 employees who are currently exempt under the current standards would be affected by the proposed increase. Beginning Sept. 8, comments on how this proposed change would affect small-business owners opened for 60 days. Submit comments here, and follow NSBA as we track when comments open and the latest from the DOL.
- NEWS | SBA Announces $20M for Small-Business Exporting
NSBA supports opportunities of expanding growth for America’s small businesses and exporters. This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the dedication of $20 million to new small-business export growth. Funds were awarded in grants to 49 U.S. state and territory international trade agencies as part of the SBA’s State Trade Expansion Program (STEP). STEP works as a federal and state partnership to provide funding directly to small businesses seeking to grow their businesses and the U.S. economy with international trade opportunities. In the last 13 years, STEP has awarded nearly $240 million in grants and direct support to more than 13,000 small businesses for international expansion and export growth. One STEP statistic shows that, for every $1 provided in STEP funding, there is an average yield of $43 in export sales. Aligned with the U.S. Government’s priorities of strengthening the base of small-business exporters and improving global competitiveness on the international level, NSBA is proud to support export opportunities through its Small Business Exporters Association (SBEA). Read more about SBEA and the SBA’s STEP opportunities, including if your state or territory earned a STEP award this year, as well as how to apply for funding opportunities, here.
- NEWS | NSBA Joins Coalition in Letter to Congress on Small-Business Privacy Impacts
NSBA has consistently called for a unified federal approach, rather than the development of a patchwork 50-state system we are now seeing develop. NSBA recently joined a number of small-business organizations and Chambers of Commerce in a letter to Congress urging policymakers to avoid adding to the growing patchwork of state privacy laws passed and proposed in recent years. RELATED | NSBA Tracks Patchwork of State Privacy Laws Data privacy has been a huge issue looming before small-business owners with almost nothing in terms of clear, concise national guidelines or directives. A number of states are now developing their own rules governing internet privacy, even though digital information flow doesn’t stop at state lines. For example, consumer privacy laws in California are different than those in New Jersey, and the conflicting, duplicative nature of these requirements carry costly and time-consuming compliance, taking away small-business owners’ time and focus on their operations, employees, and customers. Some analysis suggest initial compliance can run small-business owners around $50,000 for employers with fewer than 20 employees, and compliance costs can be even higher for small enterprises doing business across state lines. Small businesses need clear, uniform guidelines that: target abuses, encourage innovation, and include reasonable flexibility. This is why NSBA has consistently called for a unified federal approach, rather than the development of a patchwork 50-state system. Given how these rules can stymie existing business-customer relationships and prevent new customer growth, NSBA urges its members and the small-business community to tell policymakers to carefully consider the costly impacts of patchwork privacy policies when contemplating privacy action at the federal level. Read the full letter here.
- PRESS | NSBA Announces Finalists for Advocate of the Year Award
UPDATE: Congrats to our winner Olalah Njenga! Thank you to all of the nominees and all you do for small business! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Aug. 30, 2023 Contact: Molly Day 202-552-2904 email@example.com Washington, D.C. — NSBA today announced the finalists for the 2023 Lewis Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year Award. The award winner will be announced during NSBA’s Annual Advocate of the Year Award Luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 13, which is the kick-off event for the NSBA Washington Presentation on Sept. 13-14. “NSBA has an amazing group of award winners this year who are exemplary advocates for small businesses,” stated NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “Part of what makes our community of small businesses so special is the belief in and dedication to small business as part of the American dream. I am honored to recognize our 2023 advocate award winners and on behalf of small-business owners everywhere, I thank them for their tireless efforts.” NSBA is honoring the following small-business owners for their excellence in advocating on small-business issues: Hope Blankenship, To the Rescue Bookkeeping, LLC, in Diberville, Mississippi. Sheletta Brundidge, ShelettaMakesMeLaugh, LLC in Cottage Grove, Minnesota Chyanne Hart, CAAM Logistics in Strasburg, Pennsylvania Martha Hernandez, ESO Ventures in Oakland, California Olalah Njenga, YellowWood Group, LLC in Raleigh, North Carolina Nora Oliver, 10X Nora Oliver, LLC, in Woburn, Massachusetts “The finalists we are recognizing this year have shown tenacity and a real dedication to making small-business ownership easier for us all,” stated NSBA Board Chair Bob Treiber of Boston Engineering. “Running a small business isn’t easy and neither is advocacy, but these honorees make it look that way.” Among the key criteria used in determining award finalists is a commitment to small-business advocacy above and beyond policies that specifically impact their own business or industry, as well as a broad scope of volunteer efforts to advance and improve small business. Celebrating more than 85 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 follow us at @NSBAAdvocate. ###