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Small Business Majority to Lead the Next Phase of Venturize

Opportunity Finance Network
Access to Capital, Entrepreneurship, General Small Business

In June 2016, OFN launched Venturize, a public awareness campaign designed to help small business owners make empowered decisions when seeking financing for their businesses. The campaign achieved its goals of generating 75 million impressions and reaching 330,000 small businesses through its educational platform Venturize.org.

OFN is now excited to report that Small Business Majority—whose mission is to empower America's entrepreneurs to build a thriving and inclusive economy—is leading Venturize into its next phase to provide even more resources to entrepreneurs and small...

Tax bill provision designed to spur paid family leave to lower-wage workers

Family Medical Leave Insurance, Paid Sick Leave

Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, employers with 50 or more workers generally must allow eligible employees to take unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks annually for specified reasons. These include the birth or adoption of a child, caring for your own or a family member’s serious health condition, or leave for military caregiving or deployment. An individual’s job is protected during such leaves.

A tax credit that can be claimed at the end of the year is unlikely to encourage small businesses to offer paid family and medical leave, said Erik Rettig, an expert on family...

These 5 bills before California lawmakers seek to expand health coverage, lower costs

Southern California Public Radio

This week, advocates of moving California to a single-payer health care system renewed their push in Sacramento. On Wednesday, hundreds of them crowded into a hearing of a special State Assembly committee that's exploring whether and how to bring universal health care to the state.

John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority, encouraged lawmakers to keep Association Health Plans out of the California small group health insurance market. President Trump loosened rules governing these health plans. The president argues they spur competition. Arensmeyer and others believe...

Starting Sunday, businesses in Maryland must provide paid sick leave

The Washington Post
Family Medical Leave Insurance, Paid Sick Leave

Many business owners in Maryland are scrambling to prepare for the state’s new sick-leave policy, which takes effect Sunday despite a veto last year from Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and a last-ditch attempt by the state Senate to delay it. Some business owners say they don’t know whether their employees qualify for the benefit, or wonder if their existing plans comply with the requirements. Others are concerned about a perceived lack of guidance from the state, or what will happen if they make an honest mistake.

Ed Snodgrass, who operates a Harford County wholesale nursery that employs...

Raising consumer spending is the best thing for our economy

Pennsylvania Cable Network
Minimum Wage

Small Business Majority did a scientific poll that said 60% of small businesses are for raising the minimum wage to at least $12 an hour. So in terms of stimulating our economy, this is the number one way to get people decent pay, more jobs and more sales to businesses.

Trying To Goad More Small Business Bank Loans? Somebody Will Object.

Access to Capital, Entrepreneurship, Economy

John Arensmeyer, CEO of the liberal-leaning Small Business Majority, says that while his group supports changing the law to increase the amount of small business lending, "we want to make sure that any changes maintain the CRA’s focus by benefiting small businesses in underserved areas."

Business leaders hope Trump tackles infrastructure, immigration reform in State of the Union

The Business Journals
Government Accountability, Healthcare, Immigration, General Small Business

John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO of the advocacy organization Small Business Majority, said he would like to hear Trump discuss moves to strengthen health care for small businesses.

“The health care marketplaces must be bolstered,” Arensmeyer said. “This includes guaranteeing payments to insurers for cost-sharing subsidies, which help many solo entrepreneurs and small business employees afford health coverage.” Arensmeyer went on to say that Small Business Majority recommends reinstating the Affordable Care Act’s risk corridor program to help protect against carriers overpricing or...

In 2018, Trump must be the small-business champion he claimed to be

The Hill
Government Accountability, Tax and Budget Reform, General Small Business

President Donald Trump’s first year in office was deeply disappointing for small business owners. While he promised to advocate for small employers when he took office, he instead focused on a tax bill that benefits large corporations far more than Main Street small businesses.

But 2018 is an opportunity for a fresh start, and if President Trump truly wants to tackle small business issues this year, there are several key policies he could promote that would help America’s job creators succeed.

His best employee is an inmate from a prison he didn’t want built

The Washington Post

Ron Nelsen has been in the garage door business since 1976. He can't recall a time when it's been this difficult to find workers for his family business, Pioneer Overhead Door in Las Vegas.

When his assistant handed him Ian Black's résumé in April, it seemed like a godsend. Black had more than a decade of experience.

Then Nelsen noticed that all of Black's recent jobs were at a state prison.

Black is an inmate at Casa Grande, a work-release facility that's a seven-minute walk from Pioneer Overheard Door. Nelsen knew the place well. He and other...

Tax Credit Aims To Boost Availability Of Paid Family Leave, But Will It Work?

Family Medical Leave Insurance, Paid Sick Leave, Tax and Budget Reform

Tucked into the new tax law is a provision that offers companies a tax credit if they provide paid family and medical leave for their lower-wage workers.

Erik Rettig, an expert on family leave policies at the Small Business Majority, which advocates for those firms on national policy, says a tax credit, claimed at the end of the year, is unlikely to encourage small businesses to offer paid family and medical leave.
"It isn't going to help the family business that has to absorb the costs of this employee while they're gone," Rettig says.

How One Mom Changed Lyft’s Paid Family Leave Policy

Family Medical Leave Insurance, Paid Sick Leave

With little fanfare, Lyft recently significantly expanded the amount of time its workers will be able to take paid family and medical leave, one of a small but growing number of U.S. companies stepping up to meet the needs of the modern workforce. Though a majority of children are now being raised in families where all parents work, only a handful—14 percent—have paid family leave.

Many small businesses, including members of the Small Business Majority, support a federal plan because they don’t have the resources to provide paid leave on their own.

Where there's equality, there's a better chance for economic progress

Crain’s Cleveland Business
LGBT Nondiscrimination

Forbes calls attention to the latest edition of the Queer Money podcast, which looks at how Ohio Business Competes is working to advance the economic argument that LGBTQ equality is good for business. Here are a few highlights, via Forbes:

A recent study by the Small Business Majority showed that the desire to improve LGBTQ protections "isn't just a big-city, large-corporation need. The Small Business Majority found that 65% of small business owners, those with 100 employees or fewer, said they don't believe a business should be able to discriminate against potential...

Here's How To Get Both Democrats And Republicans On Board With LGBTQ Protections

LGBT Nondiscrimination

A recent study by the Small Business Majority showed that the desire to improve LGBTQ protections isn’t just a big-city, large-corporation need. The Small Business Majority found that 65% of small business owners, those with 100 employees or fewer, said they don’t believe a business should be able to discriminate against potential LGBTQ customers or employees because it hurts the overall economy.

Of course, Ohio Business Completes is reaching out to businesses of all sizes, not just the Proctor & Gambles’ and Abercrombie & Fitchs’ of Ohio with lots of money and ability to...

New LGBT report and ad: Impact of patchwork of nondiscrimination protections (VIDEO)

LGBT Weekly
LGBT Nondiscrimination

Half of LGBT people live in states lacking nondiscrimination protections for public accommodations despite broad public and business support for such protections. A 2017 PRRI poll found that 72% of Americans support laws that protect LGBT from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and a 2017 Small Business Majority poll found that 65% of business owners are opposed to businesses being permitted to deny service to LGBT people because of religious beliefs.

For small businesses, taxes just got more complicated

The Denver Post
Tax and Budget Reform

As the new tax plan takes effect, wading through how the changes affect me as a small business owner is causing major headaches.

Curbing immigration means curbing job creation

The Hill

A week in which President Donald Trump ended protections for immigrants from El Salvador and rejected a bipartisan framework to restore Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) culminated in the president displaying shocking ignorance about why immigrants from certain countries seek a new life in the United States.

The answer to your question, Mr. President, is simple: Many of them come to the United States to realize their entrepreneurial dreams, which is why we must restore DACA.

Student Debt, a Burden for Female Entrepreneurs

The Story Exchange
Financial Reform, General Small Business

About 48 percent of millennials say student debt hurt their ability to launch a new venture, a 2016 poll from Small Business Majority finds.

Get started: Association health plans

Fox Business
Healthcare, General Small Business

Small business advocates are split over the Trump administration's plan to allow what are called association health plans, or group insurance plans that would permit small companies to buy insurance in states where they're not located. Critics of the proposal, including some small business advocates as well as insurance industry groups, said that while it would benefit some companies, others could find their insurance costs rising sharply.

The proposal would "create parallel insurance markets for small businesses, leading to major spikes in premiums for small firms...

In Austin, Female entrepreneurs talk challenges

Austin Weekly News
Entrepreneurship, Women's Economic Empowerment, General Small Business

"Access to capital is one of the top issues that business owners find challenging," said Geri Aglipay, who handles Midwest outreach for Small Business Majority. "Increasingly, banks are not lending to small business owners."

Small Business Majority is a national education and advocacy organization founded in 2005 with 10 state offices across the country. Their efforts focus on issues facing small businesses, defined as having 100 employees or less.

Trump’s deregulation drive is epic in scale and scope. And yet ...

The Christian Science Monitor
Entrepreneurship, Tax and Budget Reform, Financial Reform, General Small Business, Regulations

Another area of concern is the push to loosen financial regulation passed after the financial crisis. Many experts on the left and right say the Dodd-Frank financial reforms could use some revision or streamlining. But businesses aren’t for simply jettisoning regulations, says John Arensmeyer, founder of Small Business Majority, a nationwide employer group advocating for policies to help small firms. “Small businesses recognize that you need rules of the road to run the economy.”