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Post-election statements from small business advocacy groups across the ideological spectrum have been streaming in. In addition to pleas about such pet issues as federal contracting reform and continued government investment in clean energy, all are appealing to Washington to avert the fiscal cliff—the $607 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to start in 2013—and do so quickly:
“The bevy of tax provisions set to expire at the end of 2012 will exacerbate small-business economic woes and uncertainty. In addition to providing a phase-out for these provisions, NSBA is calling for sound, responsible tax reform that promotes economic prosperity—not threatens it. Any proposal must address taxes, spending, and entitlement reform.” —National Small Business Association
“There is no reason why all tax relief measures set to expire at year end cannot be extended for another year to allow for a working transition period on tax reform.” —Karen Kerrigan, president and CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
“The critical issues facing the country and America’s self-employed remain, tax reform being of the utmost importance to ensuring continued economic recovery.” —Kristie Arslan, president and CEO, National Association for the Self-Employed
“Now that the campaign is over, it’s time to get down to the important work of addressing looming issues such as the immediate ‘fiscal cliff’ and the related need for rational long-term fiscal policies that continue to offer targeted support for small businesses and the growing economy, while addressing the need to bring down our deficit.” —John Arensmeyer, founder and CEO, Small Business Majority
“The expiring tax rates are a huge deal. … Some kind of fiscal cliff solution that doesn’t raise [our members'] taxes would remove a lot of uncertainty in their minds right now.” —Brad Close, vice president of public policy, National Federation of Independent Business (the group didn’t release a statement about the election; I spoke with Close today)
With Republicans retaining control of the House and Democrats holding on to the Senate, the groups’ pleas will likely encounter the same gridlock as before the elections, though there’s plenty of noise from both sides about reaching consensus.