We’re in the homestretch folks! Maybe you’re glad because there will be more Geico commercials rather than campaign commercials, or perhaps you’re excited that after November 6 – regardless of who wins the election, Washington will get back to work (cough, cough).
Getting back to work has been an important theme over the last four years. In a softening economy, integrators witnessed less work in traditional jobs such as houses of worship, corporate board rooms and entertainment venues. Many turned to public works, which came with its own set of concerns: prevailing wage, regulations, labor agreements, federal mandates, background checks… and now even those are starting to dwindle as the federal government doesn’t have the money to spend on these projects.
Both candidates have expressed their extreme desire to support small business. It’s important to take a look back and then imagine the future – which candidate will best serve the needs that you, a business owner, need to compete and win on public or privately funded jobs?
What policies will help you move forward as a business when it comes to contracts (public or private)?
Over the last four years, President Obama says he has focused on small business.
- He signed an extension requiring federal agencies to commit a portion of their research budgets to small firms through two federal programs: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).
- He put in effect an order that procurement officials decrease the amount of time it takes to pay small contractors on federal jobs.
- He opened investment opportunities for small businesses through the JOBS Act.
How many of these are you aware of? Did you take advantage of them? The ARRA was great for infrastructure, but what about technology and public safety?
However, the contracting goals President Obama set for small businesses have fallen short each of the past four years. Healthcare reform (thus far) hasn’t been a cost-saver for small businesses. Furthermore, he declined an opportunity to increase the amount of federal spending allocated to small businesses. He promotes that he cut taxes for small business 18 times while in office, but most of this was extending the Bush tax cuts.
- Reduce new regulatory burdens
- No increase in taxes
- Repeal Obamacare
- Bring down energy prices by utilizing natural resources
- Create an environment that supports small businesses and their owners
While this might also seem a bit vague, Romney also states that he will cut spending and “is committed to ending favoritism in government contracts.”
When it comes down to it, you want candidates at each level of government looking out for all aspects of small business – not just a specific industry or occupation. It must be fair and just, and more work must be done to help educate small businesses whose focus is to maintain and grow their business. There is too much red tape and too many bureaucratic processes that, despite the efforts taken in the past four years, systems integrators aren’t necessarily benefiting from the policies put in place. Discover the opportunities that each candidate can take to help your business, in the construction and technology trade, that will help create a prosperous economy once again.