Yesterday, President Obama talked about small businesses, and proposed a few things to help. Amongst them, he wants to free up lending capital so underfunded enterprises can visit the SBA and….
Huh? Oh, sorry… I just lose total interest with stuff like that. Because to myself and many others, it’s pretty close to useless. I have worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and prettymuch none of them got/get/are getting SBA loans.
Now, I understand that legislation like this is necessary. It helps “big” small businesses. But you know, it does nothing for the true “backbone of America” – the guy or girl sitting around their kitchen table saying “you know, I’d like to give this plumbing/photography/pet sitting/IT consulting/graphic design/handyman/etc thing a shot.”
These people – the true entrepreneurs, never get anything. We’re not going to the SBA – we’re too small. We’re not looking to “invest in another building” – we’re simply hoping to get a new client this week. We’re not “opening a new location”… if anything, we’d like to move our location from the kitchen to a more permanent space in the den.
Yet, despite our size, a lot of us do ok – I make a decent enough living, and I personally know of hundreds of others that do – indeed, there are millions of us. In fact, I’ll bet anything we outnumber the “SBA” type businesses. So why don’t we get some help?
Here’s what I would propose:
- Give us a real home office deduction that we aren’t afraid to take because it’s an “audit red flag.” If you’re worried about some schmuck starting an Amway business just so he can write off his heat, tie the deduction to revenue only. This will weed out the fake businesses, and help us real ones.
- Provided we make a minimum of $20,000 gross, then on the first $100,000 of revenue, give us a preferred tax rate. Give us a real incentive to try and make some money. The $20,000 threshold, again, ensures that people just starting businesses to fart around and take deductions won’t be able to take advantage of this.
- Health Care… one of the biggest stumbling blocks to people starting a small business is health care. You want to have universal health care, Obama? Start with us. Start with the hardest working, ballsiest people out there – those who go it alone. Again, let’s put a $20,000 floor on income – but if you hit that 20k threshold, you get health care (either make it a deduction, etc).
I like my $20,000 number in the above because, to me, that’s the tipping point. The type of things I am proposing (which, let’s face it, will be promptly ignored) are too easy to abuse by someone just starting a business to take deductions. No, to get the stuff I’d like to see, you gotta go earn 20k minimum. If you can’t make $20k, being in business full time might not be your thing anyway.
Ok, there’s my political post for the week/month. Have a great week.