Small-Business Agenda Readied for Legislature

Date: January 08, 2016

DENVER, Colo., Jan. 8, 2016—The association representing Colorado’s Main Street, mom-and-pop enterprises today released its three immediate lobbying goals when the Legislature returns to work on Wednesday.
“We will have to depart from our sister business associations on one issue and look forward to teaming with them on two others,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest and leading small-business association with 350,000 dues-paying members nationwide, including 7,000 in Colorado. 
“Our lobbying agenda is set by our members through annual balloting on issues vital to their survival as entrepreneurs,” said Gagliardi, “and they are definitely opposed to any effort to move PROVIDER FEES paid by hospitals from the state’s general fund to a so-called enterprise fund. They see it for what it clearly is: A way around TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights).” Two other immediate lobbying goals are:
INDEPENDENT CONRTACTING—In a rare departure from its normal task of stopping bad-for-small-business legislation, NFIB will ask lawmakers to resort to their historic role of making government do its job as umpire, not player, by finally establishing clear classification rules for independent contractors. The state Dept. of Labor has been helter-skelter in its auditing of small businesses for misclassification of independent contractors vs. full-time employees. In its 2020 Report, technology giant Intuit predicts “The number of contingent employees [independent contractors] will increase worldwide. In the U.S. alone, contingent workers will exceed 40 percent of the workforce by 2020. Traditional full-time, full-benefit jobs will be harder to find. Small businesses will develop their own collaborative networks of contingent workers, minimizing fixed labor costs and expanding available talent.”
REGULATORY REFORM—NFIB will work for passage of the Regulatory Reform Act, which would give small-business owners a written warning, rather than a fine, for first-time regulation offenses not harmful to the public safety. “If high blood pressure is the ‘silent killer’ of human beings, regulations have the same deadly consequences for small businesses,” said Gagliardi. According to NFIB’s Research Foundation, for every 10 percent increase in regulatory costs, there is a 5 percent to 6 percent fall in the number of small businesses with fewer than 20 workers, which translates to more than 400 small businesses lost in an industry. In its 50-State Small Business Regulation Index released last July, the Pacific Research Institute ranked Colorado 25th in the nation for its regulatory climate. The PRI Index measured the state over 14 components.
“We will no doubt have to fight or promote other issues,” said Gagliardi, “but the above three are what we’re coming out of the gates with.” An online media kit, Quick Information About Main Street, Colorado, can be found here.
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For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
National Federation of Independent Business/Colorado
1580 Logan St. Suite 520
Denver, CO 80203
303-831-6099
Twitter: @NFIB_CO 

Related Content: Small Business News | Colorado

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