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NSBA lists top 10 priorities

The National Small Business Association, an advocacy group for small business owners, has unveiled what it considers the top 10 priority issues for the current Congress to address.

“The impending 2012 presidential election, economic uncertainty and partisan rancor all pose significant challenges to NSBA’s agenda and small businesses across the country,”  stated Todd McCracken NSBA president and CEO. “But small businesses have never shied away from a challenge, and we don’t intend to start now.”

NSBA’s Top 10 Priorities are:

1. Convene a White House Conference on Small Business. It has been more than 15 years since the last White House Conference on Small Business. NSBA urges Congress to act quickly on legislation authorizing and funding a White House Conference on Small Business.

2. Reform the Current Tax Regime. NSBA is urging lawmakers to support a simpler, fairer tax system that incorporates the following six principles: 1) designed to tax only once; 2) stable and predictable; 3) visible to the taxpayer; 4) simple in its administration and compliance; 5) uses commonly understood finance/ accounting concepts; and 6) fair in its treatment of all taxpayers, including the overwhelming majority of small-business owners who pay business taxes at the individual income level.

3. Reign-in the Costs of Healthcare. New legislative activities and agency regulations should prioritize and expedite health care cost-reduction and containment initiatives that reduce rates of medical utilization and trend inflation while improving health care quality and empowering consumers.

4. Deficit Reduction and Entitlement Reform. Although continued economic stimulation may be necessary in the near-term—spending and tax cuts—which may deepen the deficit, NSBA urges policymakers to pursue fiscally responsible policies including reform of unsustainable entitlement programs, along with entrepreneurially-supportive tax simplification to ensure the long-term prosperity of the U.S. economy.

5.  Improve Access to Capital. America’s entrepreneurs—existent and aspiring—continue to suffer through a credit crunch. The lending programs at the SBA play an important role in this capital vacuum, and NSBA continues to urge Congress to recognize and protect this critical agency and its lending objectives. NSBA also urges Congress to increase credit unions’ small-business lending cap.

6. Repeal the Expanded 1099 Reporting Requirement. NSBA supports full repeal of the expanded 1099 reporting requirement passed under the health care reform law. The information reporting requirement, which is set to go into effect in 2012, is a costly and time-consuming mandate placed on a small-business owner.

7. SBIR Reauthorization, Expansion, and Strengthening. NSBA urges Congress to build upon the successes of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program during its reauthorization process, strengthen the program, and increase the program’s allocation.

8. Strengthen the SBA Office of Advocacy. NSBA urges Congress to support and sufficiently fund the SBA Office of Advocacy and its important objectives: analyzing the role of small business in the U.S. economy; pursuing policies that support small-business growth; and ensuring that the needs and concerns of small firms are considered by the federal government during the rulemaking process.

9. Regulatory Reform and Paperwork Reduction. NSBA urges Congress to improve the regulatory process as it relates to small businesses through: enhanced cost-benefit analyses that take into account the indirect costs of proposed regulations; improved small-business assistance; increased flexibility and exemptions; streamlined paperwork; and improved information collection.

10.  Enhance Small-Business Contracting. NSBA urges Congress and the administration to pursue policies that eliminate fraud, ensure accurate and reliable data, end contract bundling, improve authority and oversight over contracting dollars, and provide appropriate treatment of subcontractors, including addressing Miller Act waivers.

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