According to Paychex, the top issues on small business owners' minds include:
Taxes: Deficit reduction and tax reform are sure to be significant areas of dialogue during the election, especially when considering the potential provisions that could specifically impact small businesses, Paychex said. These provisions include: the continued viability of business structures (such as S-corps) largely intended to provide insulation from certain types of tax; the possible scaling back (or conversely, creation) of certain tax breaks targeted specifically to businesses; the ongoing potential for increased unemployment tax burdens on businesses; and the general question of whether the basic federal business tax rate should be adjusted, according to Paychex.
Overall regulatory burden: "Another likely election subject will be the degree of existing and proposed regulations facing small businesses and the appropriate balance between business and consumer priorities. In addition to taxes, the existence of a 'business-friendly' environment, also referred to as freedom from undue regulatory burden, is usually seen as a primary factor in a small business owner's appetite for expanding and/or investing in his or her business," Paychex said.
Employment regulations: "A particular area of focus this election season will be the topic of worker-focused regulation by the federal government. Such regulations include an increase to the federal minimum wage, the creation of additional 'protected' categories during the hiring process (i.e. the unemployed, those with criminal records or poor credit histories), steps to ease the formation of labor unions, and other items which might not garner broad support from the business community," according to Paychex.
Immigration: "Early indications are that immigration policies may be a key point in the election, particularly in select swing states. A key focus of the immigration debate will likely be the extent businesses should play a role in managing and enforcing immigration policy through hiring practices," Paychex said.
Retirement security: "An item which could emerge as an election issue is the growing concern over the inadequacy of retirement savings for many Americans, and the possible role that some think employers could play in a mandated solution such as an Auto IRA program or other similar option," Paychex said.