Stimulus Package for Small Business Owners?

President Bush has called for a stimulus package to bolster the nation's ailing economy. While he suggested tax rebates and incentives as a solution, he left it up to Congress to muddle through the details.

The White House reportedly wants to provide rebates of as much as $800 for individual taxpayers and $1,600 for married couples, but lawmakers were discussing smaller amounts -- possibly $500 for individuals -- combined with additional money for the unemployed and recipients of food stamps, according to a Friday story by William Branigin of The Washington Post.

Small Business readers: What sort of government action, if any, do you think would help small businesses profit during these tough economic times?

By Sharon McLoone |  January 18, 2008; 4:57 PM ET
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As a small retailer I saw my december sales fall by over 40% from last year.Considering I tripled my stock over last year.December was disappointing. January sales so far have me considering closing my doors...less than $500. total sales the first two weeks of january.That figure doesn't even cover my credit card interest.Struggling thru Dictator Bush's years in office have been a constant struggle financially.I am considering liquidating my business, selling all my asset's and leaving America for good as I did when Nixon was elected...this administration is criminal and evil beyond nixon's. America deserves and should demand better.


Posted by: keith | January 18, 2008 8:21 PM

Greatly simplified, and much less expensive, access to equity/capital markets, coupled with an SBA that doesn't want as its first level of security, the proposed businesspersons home. Strong, or at least some, enforcement of Robinson-Patman to prevent the Big Boxes from getting better prices would help. Maybe even a revivified FTC! Enforcement at the state level of laws preventing below cost sales. That's a few.

Posted by: TOLLHOUSETIM | January 18, 2008 10:45 PM

Economic stimulus proposals tend to focus on the short-term. Since much of that money will end up buying imported goods, its economic benefit here in the US will be diluted. There may be a role for stimulus, but it should be thought of as short-term relief more than an economic fix.

The way to help the economy over the long term and recreate lost jobs is to reduce the cost of doing business, especially the cost of employing workers in the US. That is why I favor cutting employer-paid payroll taxes. Also, we need to reduce businesses' health-care costs.

Cuts in corporate income taxes, proposed by some candidates, would benefit companies that are already profitable (and hence paying income taxes), but would do nothing to transform unprofitable manufacturing operations into profitable ones.

For more of Samuel Berry's views, please visit
http://www.berry2008.org

Posted by: SamuelBerry08 | January 19, 2008 12:01 AM

keith -

Why don't ypou take responsibilty for your own failures instead of blaming Bush for your porr business acumen. Why is it Bush's fault that your tripled your stock at the same time your sales are dropping off.

Both my wife and I managed to start successful businesses under Bush (or "Dictator Bush" as you called him). Your failure has nothing to do with Bush, but like most loserliberals you want to blame somebody else for your failures.

I hope your threat to leave the country is not an idle one. We have enough intellectually dishonest losers here already.

Posted by: Mike | January 19, 2008 1:35 AM

I am a small business owner involved in manufacturing for construction sector. my company's sales revenue in 2005 was 3.8 million, 2006 dropped to 3.2 million and 2007 came down to 1.8 million.

With a fixed overhead of $30,000 a month broken down as $18000 for interest in loan financing thru SBA, workman com, insurances, health benefits, liability, utilities, etc, how in the hell does the present White House expect small businesses to operate. I had 45 employees, now cut down in strength to 18. All laid off with many with over 12 to 15 years with my company. I have cut my personal salary down by 50% in order to keep my company going and now facing hardships at home with my personal house mortgage and two two children in college.

Also since most of my heavy equipment used is old, it depends constantly on regular expensive maintenance to survive such as cranes, dump trucks, loaders, etc. With drop in revenue in 2007, all of the equipment is in dire state and at the verge of failing DOT, BIT inspections putting me at a complete risk of bankruptcy!

I have no political angle and for me both Republicans and Democrats are the same. The question is that a serious stimulus package is needed for small businesses to help thousands of small business closing their doors and as a result creating massive unemployment.

The time is now or it will be too late.

Posted by: KAWA | January 20, 2008 7:46 PM

Why leave America if it deserves better? Stay and vote ;)

As a small business owner I do feel pressure of current economy state. Although above mentioned $500 would be noticed on my budget, I don't think these money are any real help. I did go over some at my blog: www.istudioweb.com

Posted by: Small Business Owner | January 21, 2008 11:57 AM

Government rebates in the dollar amounts discussed above are only futile attemps at quelling the situation at hand. Recessions are serious situations that only the Rich feel relatively comfortable in.

Small home business owners do suffer depending on the business. I have an Internet Marketing Website that is only growing and doing more business. I think I will be fairly safe...

http://www.homejobsite.com

Posted by: Simon | January 22, 2008 10:55 AM

I'm a partner in a small consulting firm. Two issues have dogged us since inception: access to capital and health insurance. As a consultancy, computers are our largest capital expense - we don't have a lot of real estate or equipment that a bank can use as collateral - so lenders want access to our personal assets instead. One lender, after asking us to list all qualified assets, offered to lend us $50K (equal to our personal assets since the firm itself was considered to have none). For a 9 person firm with highly trained and experienced staff, $50K barely covers one month's fixed costs (rent, utilities, software maintenance, salaries & benefits).

It also costs us over $7K in health care premiums each month. Had we not had the health care expense, FY 2005 & 2006 would have been profitable. However, we probably would not have had staff either.

So a stimulus package probably doesn't offer us much. I'd much rather see the SBA help set up a pooling mechanism for small businesses to be able to access affordable health care for their employees, and offer some form of access to capital that doesn't expect every business to be a manufacturer or heavy equipment user.

Posted by: Karl | January 24, 2008 1:30 PM

So far, the stimulus package for small business is only focusing on capital investment in equipment. That's too narrow. A lot of equipment can already be expensed through existing IRS regulations anyway.

We're a small business interested in upgrading our physical facilities, which requires construction work -- a capital expenditure. The stimulus package should allow treating these investments as expenses too (up to $250K). With one stone, Congress could help small business and the construction industry.

Posted by: saagalu | January 29, 2008 6:56 PM

There are alot of voices being heard on the short term, but not the long. I find it interesting that many of the short term ideas are exactly what got us in the problem in the first place. Think about this.

We (our businesses sold us out for cheap overseas labor)
We (our businesses here sold us out for cheap illegal immigration labor)
We (our government lowered interest rates so low that it over stimulated the housing market. This let the crooks in to manipulate peoples greed. It also stimulated the increase in illegal immigration to build those houses. It also devalued the dollar by putting to many printed dollars on the market.

We are in a war that we should not be in and it also has aritifically stimulated the economy using debt.

Queation ? These events have over stimulated the economy and are in the process of being corrected by market forces. Do you really want to dump more printed money on the market place to get temporary relieve or bite the bullet now and hope for better days?

My feeling is that government created this problem through some special interest that have gained at the expense of the country as a whole. Stabilize interest rates, do not dump more money on the market place, and let the market correct itself. Yes, thoses whos greed got them into a bad situation will suffer more than the rest who were conservative, but the correction has to be made now. We must stabilize and rethink and vote to keep the thieves out of office.

Our society is being raped by capitalism and our democracy has lost control. This is a long term problem, and a stimulus package is not the answer. In fact it will harm us in the long run.

I love my country, and it hurts me to see it torn apart by the greed of a few. I feel they are traitors to the american people.

Posted by: Dennis | February 12, 2008 11:55 AM

I am as little concerned about the near future, however I am optimistic that I can create enough revenue to sustain some of these difficult times. As a small business owner I am seeking opportunities for low interest capital loans preferably backed by the feds.

Posted by: John from Phoenix | March 1, 2008 10:26 AM

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