Congress should have a small business agenda

IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira had some thoughts on Congress’s agenda that appeared on the Hill’s Congress blog.

The fall season means many things to Americans: football, back-to-school and football. But this fall will also hold additional significance for millions of small business owners across the nation. All eyes will be on Congress as it returns to Washington for its fall legislative session and while most have come to expect partisan gamesmanship and gridlock from our elected leaders, there are three things they could agree on that would make a real difference for the working families and small businesses in every Congressional district around the country, particularly the more than 300 franchise business owners who are in Washington this week as part of the International Franchise Association’s annual fly-in.

The first thing Congress can do to help small business owners is reform the well-intended, but misguided and unworkable definition of a full-time employee in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Earlier this year, the Obama Administration announced that it would delay the implementation of the ACA’s employer mandate and reporting requirements for a full year as they reexamined the potentially disastrous implications for small businesses. While that was a good first step, it did not alleviate the fundamental pain that small businesses feel with the law. The law requires employers with at least 50 full-time employees to offer health insurance to those working at least 30 hours a week – essentially redefining “full-time” from the traditional 40-hour workweek. If implemented as is, this requirement would have a tremendously adverse impact on the small business owners in the franchising industry, which includes restaurants, retailers, hotel and service-related industries.

You can read the full story over at the Hill’s Congress Blog.