How Changes in Washington May Impact Your Business

As the owner or senior manager of an established and growing business, you have seen administrations come and go. You know that what happens in Washington can have a significant impact on your revenues and profits, your employment practices, financial planning and more.

For the record, I rarely, if ever, discuss politics with my clients, but the fact remains these changes will impact both your business and mine, so it is worthwhile to project what may happen and do what we can to position your business for the future.

The political pundits clearly missed the mark when forecasting the 2016 election results, but many small business organizations who came out in favor of then-candidate Trump fully anticipated that the flamboyant and often confrontational style he adopted is what our country needs to kick-start a dormant economy.

In her CNBC special report, Senior Editor Lori Loannou says “Small business says Trump is their pick for president.” According to her report, using the debate topic of small businesses on Main Street and the results of nationwide poll with, “Manta, a social network for small businesses, Trump won the first debate in the eyes of small businesses on Main Street.

“Manta’s survey, which polled a diverse group of 834 small-business owners nationwide . . . revealed that Republican candidate . . . Donald Trump was the winner, with 58.7 percent.”

Manta CEO John Swanciger said the survey revealed some very telling information about why small businesses were in favor of candidate Trump.

“The poll revealed that top concerns for small-business owners in order of priority are access to capital . . . hiring, religious freedom, foreign policy, immigration, healthcare and taxes. Almost 80 percent said raising capital was their No. 1 concern. And 77.5 percent said religious freedom was No. 2. . . The nation’s 28 million small businesses . . . have provided 55 percent of all jobs since the 1970s,” according to the Small Business Administration.

Their vote can be a big swing factor in the election, considering a stunning 60 percent voted in their state primaries and caucuses and should be casting their ballots in November.

With such a clear mandate, you would certainly expect that President-elect Trump will have support from the legislative branch in reducing regulations, providing easier access to lending and other issues so important to your business.

Agenda for the First 100 Days

Whether you agree or not with his politics or style, the fact remains Donald Trump will shortly become the 45th president of the United States, and the Republican Congress appears to want to work with him on several fronts with a return to a pro-business style high on the list of Mr. Trump’s stated agenda for his first 100 days in office.

Here are the policy changes most likely to impact your business:

  • Withdraw From the Trans-Pacific Partnership — replace it with “fair bilateral trade deals.” Both candidates were opposed to the TPP, with Trump claiming it was another measure pushed by “special interest groups who want to rape our country.” If you are doing business in the Trans-Pacific, you will likely encounter some hard feelings with potential trading partners.
  • Repeal or Revamp the Dodd-Frank Act — Back in May, then-candidate Trump said he would dismantle the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, one of President Obama’s two signature domestic policies (the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” was the other). He appears to be headed in that direction with his support of a bill introduced by Jeb Hensarling, the Republican chair of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.

This Reuters article by Lisa Lambert and Sarah N. Lynch explains how the CHOICE legislation introduced by Representative Hensarling could impact banks and small business lending. The Trump transition website http://www.greatagain.gov calls Dodd-Frank, passed in the wake of the 2007–09 financial crisis and recession, “a sprawling and complex piece of legislation that has unleashed hundreds of new rules and several new bureaucratic agencies,” and promises to dismantle and replace it with “new policies to encourage economic growth and job creation.”

If CHOICE becomes law, it should be easier for banks to lend and therefore easier for you to access the capital you need now and in the future.

  • Cancel Environmental RestrictionsTrump promised throughout the campaign to reduce environmental restrictions targeting Obama’s Clean Power Plan, seen by many people as a war on coal. This has far-reaching implications for anyone involved in the energy industry but not sure what the impact might be for others in Portland and surrounding areas.
  • Cut Regulations on Business Again, President Trump claims he will formulate a “rule that says for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.” If successful, such plans are always good for businesses caught in governmental red tape.
  • Invest in the Nation’s Infrastructure and Strengthen Cybersecurity — He also has plans to invest a trillion dollars in the nation’s infrastructure, which should bode well for anyone involved in the construction or materials industries and to strengthen cyberdefense, which potentially means more business for companies in the technology industry.

Summary

As always, candidates make lots of promises, and it remains to be seen how President Trump will be able to work with Congress and others to implement his changes. Whatever the case, it will be an interesting next four years when the honeymoon passes and the real work begins. Be sure to check with your advisors and monitor what actually happens vs. the campaign promises.

Why a B2B CFO® Partner Should Be Your Guide for the Next Four Years

Every B2B CFO® professional has more than 20 years of experience in the real world of  business. We’ve seen administrations and changes in Washington come and go. We are not politicians, but we understand how they shape the landscape for small business. B2B CFO® Partners have the financial experience and understanding of Main Street to guide your business today and in the future.

 

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