May 03, 2018 - 4:30pm

Tax Reform is Pumping Up Small Businesses Optimism


Senior Editor, Digital Content

Bloomberg_FlowersJulia_SmallBusiness_800px.png

Employee Amy Merritt prepares a flower arrangement at Flowers By Julia in Princeton, Illinois.
Employee Amy Merritt prepares a flower arrangement at Flowers By Julia in Princeton, Illinois.
Employee Amy Merritt prepares a flower arrangement at Flowers By Julia in Princeton, Illinois. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.

Tax reform is doing what was intended – driving business investment, creating jobs, and growing our economy.

Small businesses are seeing this first-hand.

For National Small Business Week let's look at how tax reform is working for them.

Surge in small business optimism

Earlier this year, the Q1 Metlife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index showed a surge in small business optimism.

That optimism hasn’t let up.

The 2018 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report found the highest levels of economic optimism in three years and strong support for tax reform.

More than six-in-ten (63%) say it makes them more optimistic about their businesses, and nearly as many (58%) think it’s a “game-changer for small businesses overall.”

What’s more, 71% expect tax reform will save them money.

Tax reform advocates like the U.S. Chamber argued that a pro-growth tax code would help all businesses invest more in their companies and workers. That’s exactly what’s small businesses plan to do with their tax savings:

  • 37% will invest their companies.
  • 21% will give their employees raises and bonuses.
  • 14% will expand their business.
  • 12% will make capital improvements – invest in buildings and equipment.

The U.S. Chamber has examples from all over the country of businesses of all sizes investing in their workers and communities. Fill out this form, if you have a great example to add to the map.

More small businesses are hiring

Tax reform is also good for jobs.

The National Federation of Independent Business April jobs report finds small businesses are increasing their hiring and employee wages:

Fifty-seven percent of small business respondents indicated they are hiring or planning to hire, up four points from March. A net 33 percent of small business owners also report higher worker compensation, on par with the previous month and the highest reading since 2000.

Now, because of tax reform, finding qualified workers – rather than taxes – are small business owners’ most-pressing concern, the NFIB survey found.

‘They’re taking less taxes out of my paycheck’

Millennials might be the most entrepreneurial generation in American history. A 2016 survey found nearly one-third of them had already started businesses and almost half intend to start a business.

Many of these current or budding entrepreneurs see tax reform working for them. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found more young people are being drawn to Republicans, the party that delivered tax reform last year.

One anecdote underscores that many of them see the benefits of tax reform:

Terry Hood, 34, an African-American who works at a Dollar General store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and took this year’s poll, said he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

But he will consider a Republican for Congress because he believes the party is making it easier to find jobs and he applauds the recent Republican-led tax cut.

“It sounds strange to me to say this about the Republicans, but they’re helping with even the small things,” Hood said in a phone interview. “They’re taking less taxes out of my paycheck. I notice that.”

Tax reform was about making the United States the best place in the world for business. From making it easier to invest, hire, and grow, small businesses see first-hand tax reform is working for them.

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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.