NFIB Weekly News
Leading the News
Small Businesses Urge Federal Court to Stop EPA from Reshaping Auto Industry
WASHINGTON (Nov. 11, 2022) – The NFIB Small Business Legal Center filed an amicus brief in the case of Texas v. Environmental Protection Agency at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The case centers on the EPA’s new greenhouse gas (GHG) tailpipe rule for light-duty vehicles.? Click here to read the amicus brief
“This is one more example in a pattern of federal agencies trying to expand their power,” said Elizabeth Milito, executive director of the Small Business Legal Center. “The president couldn’t convince Congress to pass his GHG policy, so he had an executive agency do an end run around Congress and enact a regulation.?That’s not how our Constitution works.”.
The NFIB filed the brief with the Pacific Legal Foundation. The brief makes two arguments. First, it argues that this case and the question before the D.C. Circuit is best viewed as a major questions doctrine case, and that Congress did not give EPA authority in the Clean Air Act to shift the entire nation’s automobile fleet toward electric vehicles. Second, the brief sets forth the disastrous economic impacts the rule, if upheld, would have on America’s small businesses and consumers.
Small business owners explain how the expiration of the Small Business Deduction would impact their businesses
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 27, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, released a new video featuring small business owners discussing how losing the Small Business Deduction would hurt small businesses across the nation.
The Small Business Deduction (Section 199A) allows many small businesses to deduct up to 20% of their qualified business income, which they can then reinvest in their employees and business operations. According to NFIB’s latest research, 56% of small business owners reported capital outlays in the last six months, 45% reported raising compensation, and 23% plan to create new jobs in the next three months. For many small businesses, such investments are possible because of the Small Business Deduction. Despite its positive impact, the Small Business Deduction is set to expire after 2025.
You can view the new video here.
NFIB Opposes DOL Proposed Rule on Independent Contractors
Department of Labor issues new proposed rule that will negatively impact small businesses.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 11, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, issued the following statement on behalf of Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, regarding the Department of Labor’s proposed rule on independent contractors:
“Small business owners need clarity for determining who is and isn’t considered an independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The current rule has transparent standards for classifying employees and independent contractors, something NFIB has long advocated for. Unfortunately, the Department of Labor’s new proposed rule will complicate the current standards and ultimately lead to frivolous litigation and increased costs for small businesses. NFIB opposes the proposed rule and changes to the independent contractor standard.”
Inflation Remains Top Business Problem for Small Business Owners
Thirty percent of owners report inflation as their single most important problem
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 11, 2022) – NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.3 points in September to 92.1, making the ninth consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Thirty percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business.
“Inflation and worker shortages continue to be the hardest challenges facing small business owners,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Even with these challenges, owners are still seeking opportunities to grow their business in the current period.”
Read the full article here
NFIB Jobs Report: Worker Shortage Remains a Top Issue for Small Businesses
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 6, 2022) – Small business owners reporting labor quality as their top business operating problem remains elevated at 22% in September, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. Labor cost reported as the single most important problem to business owners was unchanged at 10%.
“The worker shortage remains challenging for many small business owners nationwide,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Staffing shortages have limited small business owners’ ability to fully take advantage of current sales opportunities and they continue to adjust business operations to compensate.”
Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain high, with a seasonally adjusted net 23% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up two points from August.
Labor quality remains a problem for owners looking to hire (09/01/2022)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 1, 2022) – Small business owners continue to hire, but 49% (seasonally adjusted) of owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period.
“The labor market continues to be a significant challenge for small business owners,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are managing several economic headwinds and continue to make business adjustments to mitigate lost sales opportunities due to staffing shortages. Almost half of owners are raising compensation to attract workers for their open positions.”
Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 21% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up one point from July.
A net 46% (seasonally adjusted) reported raising compensation, down two points from July and four points below the record high set in January. A net 26% plan to raise compensation in the next three months.
Overall, 63% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in August. Of those trying to hire, 89% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirty-one percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 26% reported none.
Read more here
Small Business Owner Explains Impact of ERTC Benefits, Cancellation
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 22, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, released a new video featuring Jerry Akers, a small business owner in Iowa, explaining how his business planned its financial year around the Employee Retention Tax Credit and was negatively impacted by the unexpected cancellation of the credit during the fourth quarter of 2021.
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was created in 2020 to aid small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering small businesses a tax credit to offset the cost of payroll taxes on employees, thereby enabling small businesses throughout the country to keep their workers employed. Originally, the ERTC was set to expire on January 1, 2022, allowing employers to claim the tax credit for all four quarters of 2021. Unfortunately, on November 15, 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act retroactively moved the ERTC expiration date to October 1, 2021, terminating the fourth quarter tax credit that so many small businesses had been depending on. Read more...
Small Businesses Call for Clear FHA Compliance Rules in Amicus Brief
Reyes v. Waples Mobile Home Park concerns Fair Housing Act compliance obligations
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 18, 2022) – NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case Reyes, et al. v. Waples Mobile Home Park Limited Partnership at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The case involves Fair Housing Act (FHA) compliance obligations. NFIB is concerned that the FHA will inhibit small businesses’ ability to establish across-the-board policies to ensure compliance with a wide range of federal criminal statutes.
“Small business owners do their best to comply with various regulations involving their businesses, but the government makes it harder when they constantly change the compliance obligations,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “This Court should make it as easy as possible for businesses to comply with laws like these. We urge the Court to affirm the district court’s judgment and dismiss this action.”
NFIB’s brief argues two main points: 1) a subjective necessity standard would flout the Fifth Amendment and other safeguards against arbitrary criminal liability and 2) imposing a subjective necessity requirement will predictably harm small businesses providing housing and hospitality services, and those in need of housing.
New NFIB Op-Ed in Washington Times: Congress Can Stop Credit Card Companies from Squeezing Small Business
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 3, 2022) – The Washington Times has published a new op-ed, written by NFIB Federal Government Relations Director Jeff Brabant, that explains how credit card companies unfairly charge small businesses with multiple fees and how the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 would give small businesses choices.
“The credit card fee crisis has been building for years, yet in the wake of the pandemic, it’s worse than ever. Small businesses and customers are reeling from inflation, with price increases the inevitable result of worker shortages and supply chain snarls. Amid these terrible challenges, massive credit card companies have shockingly decided to raise the fees they charge small businesses and customers. It’s adding to insult to inflation injury at the worst possible time, costing money that Main Street needs to survive.”
“Right now, Congress is considering bipartisan legislation called the ‘Credit Card Competition Act of 2022.’ It would require that credit card companies offer at least two networks on each credit card, which necessarily involves offering different fee structures. For the first time, small businesses would have options to choose from and can choose the most affordable option. What’s more, credit card companies would finally have to compete for business, just like small businesses have to compete for customers.”
NFIB Supports Credit Card Competition Act of 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 3, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, today sent letters of support for H.R. 8874 and S. 4674, both known as the Credit Card Competition Act of 2022. These identical pieces of legislation, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, would promote the freedom of choice, and allow small businesses the ability to choose between at least two credit card network options to process transactions.
“The Credit Card Competition Act of 2022 would inject much-needed competition into the credit card processing market by allowing small businesses the freedom to choose between multiple processing networks,” said Jeff Brabant, NFIB Director of Federal Government Relations. “This legislation injects competition into the credit card processing market and reins in rapidly rising ‘swipe fees’ charged to small businesses that accept credit cards. It will harness the power of competition to give small business owners real choices when it comes to credit card processing networks. This competition will force networks to compete for business the same way that small businesses must compete for customers every day.”
View and download a PDF of the letter to the U.S. House of Representatives here.
NFIB Statement on FinCEN’s Final Rule On Beneficial Ownership
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 30, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, released the following statement regarding the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) final rule on beneficial ownership under the Corporate Transparency Act:
“NFIB is disappointed that the rule does not seek to minimize the impact on small businesses or provide the clarity needed by small businesses to comply,” said Jeff Brabant, NFIB Director of Federal Government Relations. “FinCEN failed to strike a balance on which businesses must report, what information must be reported, and when the information must be reported. At the same time, under this rule, many small businesses will not know if they need to register with FinCEN, with the prospect of civil and criminal penalties hanging over their head for non-compliance. This will inevitably lead to small businesses contracting out the reporting requirements with consultants at a significant cost. As FinCEN further extends regulatory reach into small business surveillance, Congress must increase oversight and accountability from the agency.”
Federal Legislation Seeks to Provide Fairness for Small Business Owners using Big Tech Services
Antitrust bill in Congress seeks to stop bad Big Tech behavior against small businesses that use or sell on the internet
Large technology companies, such as Amazon, Google, and Meta are rapidly changing the way that consumers shop, find, and interact with small businesses. Unfortunately, NFIB members are increasingly reporting problematic business practices when dealing with these Big Tech giants.
Congress is considering legislation to provide new protections for small business owners and consumers against anticompetitive behavior and unfair practices by Big Tech, but these companies are spending millions of dollars to defeat this legislation. NFIB is asking small business owners dealing with these companies to make their voices heard by Congress.
Read more here
Wages and Benefits
Labor quality as a top business problem remains elevated
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 3, 2022) – According to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, small business owners continue to struggle with labor issues as 23% of owners report labor quality as their top business problem, second to inflation. Ten percent of owners report labor cost as their top business problem, a historically high reading.
“The labor shortage remains a challenging problem for small business owners,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Because of staffing shortages, small business owners are less able to take full advantage of current sales opportunities and continue to make business adjustments to compensate.”
Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 20% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, down three points from September but still historically strong.
Sixty-one percent of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in October, down three points from September. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 90% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. For all firms, including those not actively hiring, 30% of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 25% reported none.
Seasonally adjusted, a net 44% reported raising compensation, down one point from September but just six points below the 48-year record high set in January....
Small business owners explain how staffing shortages are impacting their businesses
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 12, 2022) – The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, released a new video today featuring small business owners from across the nation discussing how staffing shortages are impacting their businesses.
Forty-six percent of small business owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report. Owners reporting labor quality as their top business problem remains elevated at 22% and 10% of owners reported labor cost as their single most important problem.
Read full article here
NFIB webinar explains the employment process to help recruit and retain workers
On June 1, the “Hiring & Retaining the Best Talent in a Tight Labor Market: HR Basics for Small Business” webinar was hosted by Senior Executive Counsel for the NFIB Small Business Legal Center Elizabeth Milito and Executive Director for the NFIB Research Center Holly Wade.
NFIB’s research shows that small business owners are struggling with workforce shortages. Forty-seven percent of small business owners are reporting they have job openings they could not fill, and an NFIB survey shows expectations for better business conditions in six months is the lowest it’s been in the nearly 50-year survey.
“While the last two years really demonstrated how resilient and important small businesses are to our economy, I would say that small businesses run America, the pandemic also showed some inefficiencies and deficiencies in businesses,” Milito explained. “Small business and larger businesses too, particularly when it comes to issues related to recruitment and retention of employees.”
For small business owners, it is important to re-examine the processes that are being used for recruiting employees and finding new and effective ways to retain employees.
House Democrats Introduce Bill To Require Companies Provide Time Off For Voting
Reuters (4/11, Warburton) reported House Democrats on Monday “proposed legislation requiring employers give their workers paid time off to vote, following failed attempts by Congress to pass major voting rights legislation earlier this year.” In a statement, Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA) said that the “Time Off to Vote Act” would help states reduce lines at polling places, while Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) said it would “ensure no worker has to sacrifice their wages or jeopardize their job security to exercise their sacred right to vote.”
Research: 3M Americans Unwilling To Return To Pre-Pandemic Work
The Wall Street Journal (4/16, Mitchell, Subscription Publication) reported new research shows 3 million Americans who quit work during the coronavirus pandemic do not plan to return to pre-pandemic activities even after all restrictions are lifted. According to researchers, these people tend to be women, lack a college degree, and work in low-paying jobs. Th Journal warned that the persistence of “long social distancing” means the labor force is unlikely to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels.
Wages Not Keeping Up With Inflation
CNBC (4/12, Cox) reported that because of the “surge” in inflation, “real earnings, despite rising 5.6% from a year ago, weren’t keeping pace with the cost of living. Real average hourly earnings posted a seasonally adjusted 0.8% decline for the month, according to a separate Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The inability of wages to keep up with costs could add to inflation pressures.”