NFIB Weekly News

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NFIB Weekly News Leading the News

Small Business Optimism Historically Strong At End Of 2019 (01/14/2020)

NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index (1/13) ended 2019 with a historically strong reading of 102.7. Seven of 10 components fell from November, while a larger number of small business owners reported improved business conditions and expected higher nominal sales in the coming three months. NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg is quoted saying, “December marked the end of another banner year for the small business economy, as owners took full advantage of strong consumer spending, and federal tax and regulatory relief. ... 2020 is starting out with a solid foundation for continued growth, two-years into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that’s providing fuel to grow small businesses and their workforce.”

Business Climate

Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama-Era “Joint Employer” Rule (01/14/2020)

The New York Times (1/12, Scheiber) reported the Labor Department on Sunday announced a new rule on “joint employment” that could make it harder for workers to sue “large companies for wrongdoing by contractors or franchisees.” Under the new rule, “which will take effect in March, employees of a fast-food franchise like a McDonald’s restaurant, for example, may struggle to win a legal claim against the parent company if a franchisee violates minimum-wage and overtime laws.” The rule “effectively replaces a more labor-friendly Obama-era approach that the Trump administration withdrew in 2017, one of several departures from the previous administration in the area of employment and labor law.”

Small Business Marketing

Articles Highlight Tax Deductions For Self-Employed, Small Business Owners (01/14/2020)

U.S. News & World Report (1/3) contributor Maryalene LaPonsie discussed “self-employment tax deductions and benefits to claim,” such as retirement savings, insurance premiums, office supplies, credit card and loan interest, phone and Internet costs, start-up costs, continuing education, advertising, and self-employment taxes, among others.

Wages and Benefits

Subminimum Wage Workers Receiving Extra Attention Amid Widespread Increases For Others (01/14/2020)

According to the New York Times (1/9, Hassan), recent minimum wage increases have not benefited tipped workers as much as other hourly workers. Even other subminimum wage workers – such as au pairs – make nearly double the $2.13 required for tipped workers. That’s why the current debate over minimum wage is “calling attention to how many workers are still scraping by with subminimum wages.”