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During a trip last week to Washington for the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Summit, Louisiana entrepreneur and U.S. Chamber Small Business Policy Committee Chair Christel Slaughter took the short drive down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill, where she was invited to share her unique perspective on the effect last year’s tax reform law has had on Main Street businesses.
Her message was loud and clear.
“We are putting tax reform savings to work by reinvesting in our employees, our businesses, and our communities,” Slaughter told lawmakers at a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on tax reform on Wednesday. “In my small business, our employees are taking home more of their earnings, and many of our clients are benefitting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”
Slaughter, the CEO of management consulting firm SSA Consultants based in Baton Rouge, shared several anecdotes from those clients. Among them, timber company RoyOMartin, which announced that the tax law changes would allow the firm to open a brand new plant in Corrigan, Texas. The company’s investment in the plant will create 165 direct jobs and more than 470 indirect jobs in construction.
Meanwhile, her fellow U.S. Chamber Small Business Council Member, David Mahoney, the president and CEO of 33-employee Noble Gas Solutions in Albany, New York, told Slaughter the tax cuts have allowed him to raise wages and plan to hire new staff for the first time in several years.
“These examples of how we are reinvesting tax cut savings to provide higher salaries and increased benefits for our employees are echoed by small businesses throughout the United States,” Slaughter said, noting that the latest U.S. Chamber and MetLife Small Business Index showed confidence among Main Street companies at an all-time high, while small business owners surveyed earlier this year were twice as likely to think tax reform would help rather than hurt their companies.
Slaughter wasn’t the only one carrying that same message to Capitol Hill last week. A day earlier, dozens of small business owners headed to Capitol Hill as part of the U.S. Chamber’s Main Street Ambassadors program to meet with their respective lawmakers and congressional staffers about a wide range of important policy issues; among them, the myriad benefits of the tax reform law.
Members of Congress have taken notice, too.
“As I travel around the state of Indiana, I encounter countless businesses that are enjoying the impact of this tax reform in a very positive way,” Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) said during the forum. Added Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), “Tax reform is already providing a huge boost for Iowa’s small businesses, allowing our job creators to grow and in return reward their employees.”
While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act put wind at small business owners’ backs, there’s still more work to be done to maximize the benefits for Main Street, Slaughter said. “Many of us want to plan ahead, whether it is to grow our businesses, sell our businesses, or pass what we have built on to our children,” she said, later noting that the scheduled expiration of several tax benefits at the end of 2025 will limit small business owners’ ability to implement expansion or transition plans for their companies.
“We would like to work with the Committee and your colleagues on the Finance Committee to make the small business tax cuts permanent,” she told senators.
You can watch the full video of the hearing.