Election Results: What It Means for Main Street

November 5, 2014

By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report

I spoke with NSBA President Todd McCracken about the 2014 mid-term election results and what it means for small business.

Watch our short interview here:

Bob Coleman: Hi I’m Bob Coleman, Publisher of the Coleman Report. I am in Rochester talking to the 2014 Upstate New York SBA Lender Conference today November 5th, the day after the election. I want to bring in Todd McCracken, the President and CEO of the National Small Business Association out of Washington D.C. Todd, big change yesterday, the first question out of the box is, is it going to get better? What’s going to happen to small business main street?

Todd McCracken: well I will tell you what, things can’t really get much worse so I’m pretty optimistic things might get a little better. The election has put the Republicans in control of both houses of congress. They don’t have 60 votes in the Senate, what they need to really do big legislation. I do think that both sides now have an incentive to work together that they have not had before. I am cautiously optimistic. I am not sure about predicting it yet but I’m somewhat optimistic about seeing some progress. For example extending key tax revisions more permanently and get back to regular order in our spending bills. And maybe even having a deal on international trade and some other things. What I think is really key this time as we see the Fed ending their quantitative easening program is making sure the business community has confidence and faith and credit in the U.S. government and we have got to get a handle on a long term fiscal picture. If we return to regular order maybe we can get to that.

Bob Coleman: Todd what I appreciate about your organization representing main street is that you are non-partisan. You want good things to happen to main street. My issue during the 2012 election, both sides of the aisle were singing the praises of small business. If you did a small business popularity poll, small business owners would be off the chart on approval ratings, is it going to be different this time I hope.

Todd McCracken: I hope so, because they talk a good game and then do nothing for small business. It really hurts us in a lot of ways because it deeply frustrates small businesses. If you talk to the typical citizen and they naturally assume that Washington is involved in all kinds of things for small businesses because they talk about it all the time, and they are shocked to find out that in fact precious little has been done to help propell small businesses forward. While I don’t think that’s fundamentally going to change. I think what small businesses really need are some common sense approaches and people to work together to get to the right answer and not just name calling. And again I am a little optimistic that that can improve.

Bob Coleman: Give me one or two takeaways with things that you would like to see right out of the box.

Todd McCracken: Well first off, getting together on the tax extenders, I think that would be a big boom. I think there is a lot of room for the Republicans bringing big victories on health care that the President and the White House can live with. So I actually think there is some room to improve the healthcare law. I think they should do that sooner or later because the longer they wait the more the wheels will come off a little bit.

Bob Coleman: Todd McCracken, President of the National Small Business Association out of Washington D.C., Thanks Todd.

Below is a statement from NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken.

“Small-business owners have told us repeatedly that what they want more than any one specific policy is for lawmakers to end the partisan gridlock and work together. Our nation faces serious issues, and the only way tackle those issues is with pragmatism and leadership—not partisanship.

“NSBA is urging all lawmakers to reach across the aisle for meaningful solutions to these issues, not only in the 114th Session of Congress, but in the upcoming lame duck session as well. According to a forthcoming survey from NSBA, small-business owners overwhelmingly support lame duck action on the tax extenders. They also want Congress to approve spending bills through the appropriations process, or, more simply put: do their job.

“Small businesses have worked hard to come back from a very difficult economic situation over the past several years. It is imperative that Congress forego shenanigans like the government shut-down and get to work preventing another financial collapse spurred by a burgeoning debt, an overly complex and unworkable tax code and the insurmountable hurdle to entrepreneurship posed by unfair or unnecessary regulations.”

Todd McCracken currently serves as president of National Small Business Association (NSBA), directing all activities of the advocacy-oriented association. Mr. McCracken became president of NSBA in 1997. Mr. McCracken started with the association in 1988, previously serving as vice president of government affairs.