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Small Business Soars Under Tax Cuts, But Remains Wary

Nearly a quarter of small business owners say the biggest problem they face right now is finding qualified workers. (wir_sind_klein/pixabay)
Nearly a quarter of small business owners say the biggest problem they face right now is finding qualified workers. (wir_sind_klein/pixabay)
June 18, 2018

BOISE, Idaho – A survey from the National Federation of Independent Business finds small businesses are reporting record profits in recent months, and 27 percent of them plan to use savings from the tax cuts implemented in January to hire additional employees.

The report comes as some economists project that larger corporations will not reinvest into the economy with their tax savings, but Juanita Duggan, the federation’s president and CEO, says there's an important distinction to make.

"Main Street is not Wall Street, and Main Street has reacted very positively to the tax bill,” she states. “We know because we've been asking our members what are they planning to do with their tax savings and they're telling us that they're going to hire new workers, they're going to increase wages. Sometimes, they're going to provide benefits."

Earlier this month, the Federation reported its members are the most optimistic they've been about business prospects since 1983, but 23 percent said the biggest problem is finding qualified workers.

Many noted that the pool of qualified applicants from which they typically hire has dried up because of President Donald Trump's tough stance on immigration.

Beth Bacheldor owns Conteuse Marketing Agency. While she may see some tax benefits in the short term, she says she's looking at the bigger picture.

"I can't, as a business owner, just look to the next year when I think about how my business grows,” she states. “I have to look to the next five years. And these tax cuts are very short term in their nature, unless you are in the very, very top 1 percent. "

Bacheldor says she also thinks of the unmet needs the tax cuts may be creating, with less money for health care and education for communities.

"I can understand why small businesses might feel that some extra money in their operating budget is good news, but running a small business is so much more than dollars and cents," she states.

The Small Business Credit Survey released this month also found heightened optimism for revenue and employment growth in 2018 among business owners.

Critics of the tax cuts say they don't do enough to help the lower and middle classes.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID