NFIB’s chief economist Bill Dunkelberg addresses the top concern of small business owners, taxes and regulation, in this week’s Your Bottom Line. In NFIB’s monthly survey, 40 percent of small business owners said that regulation, red tape and taxes were their primary concern.
Even in the current business environment – where 22 percent of small business owners were most concerned about weak sales – the financial drain that taxes and regulations force on small businesses was the primary pain point for business owners. Dunkelberg shares that the taxation and regulation process saps the valuable resource of time.
"Tax turns out to be a tax on the most important asset the firm has – owners,” Dunkelberg said. “The entrepreneur who runs an operation is the most important asset it has, and we certainly should have the entrepreneur spend as much time as possible growing the firm, creating jobs and creating wealth."
Dunkelberg identified uncertainty about tax rates as a factor in firms' decisions not to do much in the way of expansion. For small business owners focused on long-term investments, the short-term, election-driven decision-making of Congress can cause hesitation and stagnation.
"We keep our powder dry and hang on to the money until we have a better certainty about the rules that are going to apply going forward on long-term investments," Dunkelberg said.
NFIB's web series Your Bottom Line With Bill Dunkelberg educates small business owners on what drives the economy and how economic issues affect their businesses. William Dunkelberg, one of the nation's top experts on small business, hosts the series. New videos are posted each week and all episodes are archived for later viewing.
NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through a unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of members to own, operate and grow their businesses. For more information visit NFIB online.
About William Dunkelberg
William C. Dunkelberg has been chief economist for NFIB since 1971. He is currently professor of Economics at the School of Business and Management, Temple University, and served as dean from 1987-94. He was director of the Center for the Advancement and Study of Entrepreneurship from 1991-94.
Dunkelberg is a nationally recognized authority on small business, entrepreneurship, consumer behavior and consumer credit policy. He has been an advisor to cabinet officers, a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve System and is a past president of the National Association of Business Economists. He has chaired the Census Advisory Committee and is an elected member of the Conference of Business Economists and the National Economic Issues Council. He is also a frequent contributor to broadcast and cable news programs and is often quoted in leading newspapers and magazines.