SmallBiz Vote
  • While politicians argue about how best to halt rising gas prices, business owners just want relief. And fast.

    The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council reported today that 72 percent of small business owners say that increasingly high gas prices are impacting their business, and a majority are also dissatisfied with the overall direction of federal policies meant to help the economy.Gas prices are hurting businesses

    The survey of 304 small business owners was conducted in late February before gas prices had reached today's highs of $3.80 per gallon. Even then, 43 percent said their business would not survive if energy prices continue to remain high or increase further.

    The SBEC suggests that advancing pro-energy policies, including the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, is the best route the government could take now to help small businesses. "The U.S. cannot allow world events, supply disruptions and global demand surges to control the fate of our economy or global competitiveness. We must take full advantage

    Read More »from Many small business owners say they won’t survive further gas price hikes
  • What’s in the JOBS Act for you?

    Earlier today we posted a Yahoo! Small Business Advisor article about  legislation that would make it legal for entrepreneurs to sell small stakes in their companies through online crowdfunding platforms. Just a few hours later, the House voted to pass the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a package of six separate pieces of legislation, including the one supporting crowdfunding that it had approved in a vote last November. The Senate will consider a similar bill next week.

    Business owners have told Yahoo! that a lack of access to capital is hurting them. Crowdfunding is just one element of the JOBS Act meant to address that problem. As the Washington Post reported this afternoon, small business advocates are applauding the bipartisan passage of a bill that "would ease Securities and Exchange Commission rules that can impede or slow the process for companies trying to enter the public markets."

    Aside from legalizing crowdfunding--which would let proprietors raise investments

    Read More »from What’s in the JOBS Act for you?
  • The Young Entrepreneur Council today kicked off a national initiative to steer politicians' attention toward policies and programs that YEC and its partners say would encourage and enable more entrepreneurship among young people and tackle "an epidemic of youth unemployment and underemployment."   

    YEC's ambitious and energetic founder Scott Gerber, a 27-year-old self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, says his organization's #FixYoungAmerica movement will feature a social media campaign, nationwide events, and the publication of a compilation of essays on entrepreneurship written by the country's "brightest intellectuals, nonprofit founders, philanthropists, educators, politicians, and entrepreneurs."

    He says the goal is to create a "positive conversation" about how to build solutions for young entrepreneurs. "Whenever you hear about youth unemployment, it's always in the negative. We're the 'lost generation'," Gerber says. He'd prefer to focus on what's working and legislate from that

    Read More »from “Fix Young America” movement pushes policies to support entrepreneurs
  • Five questions for Small Business Administration chief Karen G. Mills

    Karen G. Mills was sworn in as the 23rd Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration in April 2009. Last month, at the same time he sought Congressional authority to reorganize and consolidate SBA with the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, President Obama elevated Mills' post to the Cabinet level.

    Yahoo! Small Business had the opportunity last week to ask Mills to discuss her new post, her plans for 2012, and her take on small business owners' top priorities now.

    U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, second from right, visits a North Carolina small businessU.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills visits a North Carolina small business

    SmallBiz Vote: What does the elevation of the Small Business Administration to the cabinet level right now mean for small business owners? How will your new seat at the cabinet table impact what you are able to accomplish for small businesses, near-term and long-term?

    Karen G. Mills: Small businesses are the economic engine of our economy. They create 2 out of every 3 new jobs. Roughly half of America owns or works for a small business.

    The President understands the importance of

    Read More »from Five questions for Small Business Administration chief Karen G. Mills
  • If you're a small business owner suffering the effects of the stalled economy, you're far from alone. More than 70 percent of respondents to a Yahoo! Small Business survey this month said they're hurting. Detailed results of the survey—which polled 250 owners of businesses that employ between 1 and 100—is available here.

    An open-ended survey question asked respondents "what one issue affecting your business would you like to see policymakers address?" The most common replies focused on taxes, access to capital, healthcare, and unemployment.

    Do these business owners' comments echo your sentiments? What would you add to the list?

    On taxes:
    •    "Taxes on the small business man are thru the roof and need to be addressed."
    •    "[Give us] clear, simple tax codes so we can gauge our future expenses accurately."
    •    "We need real incentives and real tax breaks for the Mom and Pop companies."
    •    "I want [policymakers] to recognize that taxes are killing small businesses."
    •    "Small

    Read More »from What Washington should fix first: the top four gripes of small business owners
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  • The vote that matters most to economic recovery

    Welcome to The SmallBiz Vote, a new blog from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, where we'll be tracking the political issues that matter most to small business owners throughout the 2012 election year. In the coming weeks and months, this space will feature the political views of small business owners and keep you updated on the election news that affects you.

    If you're a small business owner, bookmark us now, and return on Monday for detailed results of a new Yahoo! Small Business Advisor survey that reveals how people like you have been impacted by the stalled economy, whom they blame, and what changes they're looking for from Washington.

    And stay tuned for our Q&A with Small Business Administrator Karen Mills. She'll share her goals as she takes a new Cabinet post in the Obama Administration, and explain how the 2013 budget proposal strives to serve the needs of small businesses and the priorities of the SBA.

    It's clear that President Obama and the candidates who would like to replace

    Read More »from The vote that matters most to economic recovery

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ABOUT SMALLBIZ VOTE

SmallBiz Vote discusses candidates, policy, and news of the 2012 U.S. elections from the perspective of business owners and entrepreneurs.

SmallBiz Vote Bloggers

  • Adrienne Burke, Blogger/Writer, Yahoo! Small Business

    Adrienne Burke has been editing and writing for B2B publications since 1993 …

  • Virginia Hines, Yahoo! Small Business Advisor

    Virginia Hines leads the Yahoo! Small Business Advisor product team.

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