Celebrating small business week
May 13, 2001
Small business is the backbone of the American economy, encompassing 99.7 percent of all employers.
Over half of the private workforce is employed by small businesses, and 47 percent of all sales are from small business. Whether it is a small high-tech firm or a family farm, entrepreneurs are making a difference in communities all across Mississippi and the country.
This week is Small Business Week a time for us to recognize the many contributions small businesses have made and continue to make to our country. This year we honor an estimated 25.5 million small businesses in America, including 50,000 small businesses in Mississippi.
A key piece of legislation Congress is working on, called the "Small Employer Tax Relief Act of 2001," will provide substantial tax relief for small businesses, while making the tax code simpler and fairer for small employers. It would give the self-employed a 100 percent deduction for health insurance, reduce payroll taxes, repeal the alternative minimum tax, extend the research and experimentation tax credit, provide tax credits for environmental protection and encourage training skilled workers.
Congress and President Bush are working to help small businesses by streamlining the excessive regulations they have to deal with on a daily basis. After all, much of the time, consumers end up paying for costly government mandates.
This is why we said no to President Clinton's ergonomics rules that would have cost businesses up to $100 billion a year without providing workers with any greater protection from injury.
Another issue Congress has been working on is reducing the amount of federal paperwork requirements small businesses have to deal with. American businesses spend $62 billion each year on paperwork-related requirements. This results in higher costs and fewer jobs. We will continue to remove unnecessary burdens on our employers so they can focus their time and resources on helping our economy grow stronger.
Eliminating the death tax is another issue that will greatly help America's small businesses. Far too often, mom-and-pop businesses are forced to fold rather than give away more than half the businesses to the IRS when a parent dies. This is simply wrong.
We must stop the anti-family and anti-business death tax from eliminating jobs and small businesses.
This week, the Small Business Administration named Lloyd Taylor, president of Grenada Manufacturing in Grenada as Mississippi's Small Business Person of the Year.
As Mississippians, I think it is fitting for us to take pride in honoring someone from our state who received this award for his role in promoting small businesses.
Small businesses are a good place to work. The most recent statistics reveal employee compensation rose 7.2 percent at small businesses in 1998. We ought to do everything we can to promote their success.
Our tax relief plan and continued effort to reduce the regulatory burdens on small business will help employers, employees and consumers. Congress and the White House will drive this agenda so that small businesses can protect their cash flow, raise productivity, boost income and provide benefits including health insurance to their employees.
Small business is truly the engine of our local and national economy. We must recognize their accomplishments and help them to continue the good work they do.
In Congress, we are working to allow small business to grow, prosper, and provide good jobs in our communities.
U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., represents Mississippi's Third Congressional District. Write to him at 427 Cannon Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, or call (202) 225-5031.