by Alfredo Ortiz
So far, 2018 has been a good year for small businesses and independent franchises – including those in the hotel industry.
The current administration has taken massive whacks at the mountain of federal regulatory mandates that have plagued U.S. enterprises for years. And the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – passed and signed into law in 2017 – has brought tax relief to millions of Americans and the businesses that employ them.
The combination of these high profile pursuits has promoted economic advancement through job creation, rising wages, an uptick in GDP growth, and the overall expansion of U.S. business.
But while these broad measures laid the groundwork and are largely responsible for the booming economy, other changes that have gone unnoticed have also contributed to the success story.
In May of this year, legislation was passed and signed into law that rolled back a set of burdensome financial regulations – commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank – for small community banks. Dodd-Frank was initially passed to reign in the too-big-to-fail Wall Street institutions that were largely responsible for the 2008 financial collapse, but the rules ended up targeting small community banks that didn’t have the necessary resources on-hand to ensure compliance.
Partially, rolling back the rules for these community banks – which is the main source of small business loans – have replenished the credit lines that ambitious entrepreneurs are reliant upon for start-up funds and expansion capital.
Furthermore, in June, small businesses experienced another major public policy victory.
Since the passage of Obamacare, healthcare costs have been skyrocketing – with small businesses being among the most impacted parties. As a result, the number of small businesses providing healthcare to employees dropped by roughly a third between the years 2008 and 2015. And, those figures don’t include the extra financial burden that rising healthcare costs bring to small businesses that are still managing to offer coverage to employees.
To help bandage this problem, President Trump directed the Department of Labor – which later implemented a subsequent rule – to expand the use of association health plans (AHPs) to small businesses. This new standard will give small businesses the opportunity to join together and be eligible for the increased choice and competitive prices that are usually reserved for large corporations with many thousands of employees.
While expanding the use of AHPs doesn’t fix all the problems that are associated with Obamacare, it does mitigate the impact.
The country’s 30 million small businesses – not to mention their 60 million employees – are receiving many public policy benefits this year thanks to the pro-business, pro-growth agenda being pursued by the White House and our elected officials in Congress.