Are today’s elected government officials helping or hurting small business in America? The answer largely depends on the political affiliation of whom you ask. According to a survey by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), 39 percent of small business owners identify as Republican, followed by 29 percent who identify as Independent, and 22 percent as Democrat. While most can agree that the growth of small business is good for the American economy, not everyone is as easygoing about how and to what degree small businesses should be regulated, taxed, and supported by the government.
The ability for everyone to come to a consensus around a solid strategy for moving forward is perhaps now more important than ever before. Small business startups have seen a steady decline over the past 30 years, but no one could have predicted that this rate of decline would hit a devastating new low in 2008. That was the year small business “deaths” outpaced small business “births” for the first time since such data were tracked, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This downward spiral of small business births continues today. Currently, in the U.S. there are 400,000 new businesses born every year while approximately 470,000 others meet an untimely death. As a result, the land of opportunity and free enterprise is now ranked 12th in the world for business startup activity, according to Gallup.
The next question then becomes – what’s happening to the great American dream? Let the finger-pointing begin once again. The Democratic party held control of Congress from 2007 to 2011, and the House from 2011 to 2014; could there be a correlation between Democratic control and negative small business growth, or is this pattern strictly coincidence? Now that the Republican party has full control of Congress for the first time in eight years, people from all divides will be watching closely to see if this shift in power will prove beneficial or if it’s just a further detriment to small business growth and progress.
The state of small business in America is decidedly dire. Is hope on the horizon? The infographic below weighs the positive and negative impacts that have spurred from the Republican’s newfound control of Congress so far. Take a look and decide for yourself – is 2015 finally the year for small business?
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