The Q4 2018 Quarterly Index from the National Write Your Congressman (NWYC) organization reveals immigration ranked as a top small business concern in this quarter. According to NWYC, this is the first time the issue of immigration ranked in the top five.
NWYC Q4 2018 Small Business Sentiment Index
The top five issues small businesses were concerned with are hiring qualified workers at number one, followed by health insurance expenses at number two, and taxes rounding out the top three. Immigration came in fourth followed by paying down their debt at number five.
Small business owners don’t have the same concerns across the board, but there are some prevailing issues every business has to deal with in the United States. As the index points out, in the third quarter regulation was one of the top concerns and in this quarter, it is not even in the top five.
The NWYC index primary looks to find out how small business owners feel about Congress along with the issues they want them to address.
In Q4 2018 small business owners are more satisfied with Congress then they have been in some time. According to Randy Ford, President and COO of National Write Your Congressman, the passage of tax cuts and regulation rollbacks are greatly responsible for this.
In the press release, Ford said, “ Our business owner members have been extremely satisfied with Congressional action when it comes to regulation reductions and taxes to help their small business. Small business owners are looking for modifications to the current tax law and hoping the bills of Tax Reform 2.0 pass the Senate.”
The NWYC measures the sentiment of small business owners towards Congress using data collected online. For the fourth quarter of 2018, the survey was carried out between October 30 to November 2, 2018. A total of 913 participants from 46 states in the US took part in the survey.
The business owners in the survey ran companies with 1-99 employees. Fifty-seven percent had 1-9 employees, while 38% employed 10-99 workers. The businesses represented a range of industries including construction, services, health, legal, accounting, engineering, advertising, manufacturing, and more.
Compared to the Q4 2017, the numbers for Q4 2018 reveals small business satisfaction with congressional action has doubled from 15% in 2017 to 30% in 2018.
Small business owners feel their Congress knows their opinion with 59% stating this fact. It was at 55% in the third quarter of 2018. Another 45% said Congress acts on their behalf with 48% also indicating they trust in their own member of Congress.
When it comes to trusting the government, 79% of small businesses said they trust the president, which is much higher than the 51% who felt the same way about their local government.
State governments didn’t fare that well as only 38% said they trusted it. But the worst of the bunch is the level of trust small business owners have about national government agencies, which is only at 20%.
The president also does very well when it comes to the hope small businesses have as 87% stated they are hopeful about the Trump presidency.
In this category Congress was at 58%, followed by state and local government at 50 and 55 percent respectively with the judicial branch receiving an impressive 69%.
What is National Write Your Congressman?
Established 60 years ago, the NWYC provide small business owners a resource for connecting with members of Congress and a platform to deliver a collective message.
The NWYC is a nonpartisan membership organization which provides information on leading issues as well as pending legislation relevant to small business owners. According to the organization, it presents both sides of any issue so its members can make an informed decision/argument when they are ready to let their opinions be heard.
Photo via Shutterstock
This article, “Immigration Becomes Growing Concern for Small Business Owners, Index Says” was first published on Small Business Trends
In Balance Bookkeeping interviews CPA MIke Pagan, of Stinson Associates CPA’s of Portsmouth, NH. Mike speaks to us about tax planning for the self employed, keys to succes and about building your business.
A little over three years after its launch, Zoho Inventory becomes available on your mobile device with an all-new Android App. The 28th product release under the Zoho umbrella, Zoho Inventory was launched in 2015 and is a boon for small businesses.
Zoho Inventory App
According to Zoho, the new app will handle the order and warehouse management of your business on your device no matter where you are.
Inventory management has become a challenge for small businesses as they integrate their brick and mortar stores with their eCommerce platform. Being able to keep track of your inventory in and out of the office means you can manage your supply more effectively and with greater accuracy.
For small business owners who don’t have the resources to hire inventory managers or expensive applications, Zoho Inventory for Android offers an affordable option. The app makes all of your data available on your device so you can have a comprehensive view of your inventory.
Whether you are in the office or out and about, the Zoho Inventory app allows you to order goods and services instantly while looking into the stock level of your inventory.
When you are ready to talk, the app gives you access to the contact information of your customers and vendors. The integration with Zoho CRM and Zoho Books automatically syncs all your contacts and orders while helping you manage your financial data.
This allows you to respond to your customers more effectively because you have full access to their history, which also applies to your vendors if you want to make a purchase.
The app also tracks online and offline orders. For online sales from your eCommerce platform, it automatically gets the sales orders for you. When it is an offline sale over the counter, you can create sales orders, download it and email it to your customers.
Some of the other functionalities include tax compliance, multi-warehouse management, order fulfillment, invoice payments, multicurrency transactions, and more.
Being able to make payments while you are on the go and tracking those transactions while keeping tabs on your inventory automatically is an invaluable asset for small businesses.
Zoho Inventory integrates with major sites including Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify, and others so you can sell on those platforms and keep accurate records of all the transactions. Having an automated system gives small business owners a tool which doesn’t require additional hire or investment.
You can sign up for the new Zoho Inventory here. After you sign up through the web application, use your credentials to log in to your mobile app and start using Zoho Inventory for free with a 14-day trial.
If you choose to continue using Zoho Inventory, you can subscribe to the plan that best suits the needs of your business. There is a free version which gives you 20 online and offline orders, shipping labels, and shipment tracking.
The Basic, Standard, and Professional tiers provide up to 30,000 of the orders, labels and tracking features. It also includes automated workflows/module and the management of up to 10 warehouses.
Image: Zoho Inventory
This article, “Zoho Inventory Goes Mobile with Benefits for Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends
As business owners, we hear a lot of good advice, but we also hear some bad business advice that we can safely ignore. watch here for a piece of advice you shouldn’t believe when starting your business.
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Small businesses may agree on the importance of healthcare as a key political issue. But an expert maintains business owners are divided on why they believe it’s important.
A recent poll found 31% of small businesses list healthcare as a top issue. But Small Business Trends spoke with Rhett Buttle, a Founder and Co-Executive Director of the Small Business Roundtable after reporting on the numbers to learn more about what’s behind them.
More Small Business Healthcare Concerns
“One thing we know is that Democrats ran on healthcare during this midterm election,” Buttle said. “It’s an issue that’s resonating with Americans broadly, but obviously small employers have an interest and the sole proprietors even have a new set of options.”
Obamacare Opens Opportunities
According to Healthcare.gov, self-employed folks and sole proprietors can enroll in healthcare coverage through The Individual Health Insurance Marketplace. Businesses and individuals need to select coverage through Open Enrollment which runs from November 1 to December 15 of this year.
When the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was passed, it opened up new opportunities for sole proprietors. A recent executive order by the Trump Administration sought to redefine some of these changes. One recent tweak allowed for sole proprietors and some small businesses to buy healthcare by joining forces.
Buttle stressed the quagmire created by the original plan and recent attempts to overhaul it placed healthcare in the ranking it got.
Trump’s Rule Changes Draw Applause
He says that while some small businesses applaud Trump’s rule changes, their enthusiasm is tempered by insurance companies who are rattling sabres about raising rates.
“There’s a lot of pride in being able to offer coverage to your employees, but beyond taxes and the cost of labor, this is the number one issue where small businesses are still grappling with the cost and how to provide good affordable quality healthcare.”
He touched on age as one of the other important factors when it comes to small businesses and healthcare coverage.
Pre-Existing Conditions Remain a Concern
“The vast majority of people who start businesses in America are in the 50 plus age range which means they are more likely to have a pre-existing condition,” he says, adding that in the past one of the issues that stopped people from starting their own businesses was concern over these conditions and getting healthcare.
This “job lock” keep people working for other employers because they didn’t think they would qualify for healthcare on their own. According to Buttle, one of the advantages Obamacare brought to the small business landscape was getting rid of pre-existing conditions as a roadblock to becoming an entrepreneur.
Tax Reform Confusion Dampens Enthusiasm
One of the other areas touched on in the poll was the surprisingly lukewarm reception for tax reform that placed behind healthcare with only 15% of the respondents calling it a number one issue for the next congress.
Buttle explained how the poll shows the enthusiasm for The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has started to wane as the reality of the changes become apparent.
“What we’re reading there is while businesses in general are supportive of tax reform, I think that as they approach tax season and try and figure it out, small businesses realize it’s caused more confusion,” he said.
Photo via Shutterstock
This article, “Expert Explains Why Healthcare Remains Important to Small Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends