Main Street is feeling more optimistic post-election, with shop owners hoping a Donald Trump presidency ushers in four years of business-friendly policies. The recent increase in positive sentiment, according to a report released by the National Federation of Independent Business, is due in part to expectations of sales gains and improvement in the outlook for business conditions.
With the forecast bright on the eve of a New Year, here's what seems to lie ahead for small business owners.
Trump ran on promises of deregulation, and the bump in optimism post-election signals that Main Street is banking on him to follow through. Many companies cheered the recent halting of theDepartment of Labor's Overtime Rule days before it was set to kick in on Dec. 1, thanks to a decision from a federal judge in Texas. Advocacy groups are hoping for more labor deregulation in the year to come.
"Our number-one issue for the past two years is the joint employer rule," says Matthew Haller, senior vice president of Government Relations and Public Affairs at the International Franchise Association. The rule stems from a decision made by the National Labor Relations Board in 2015 that found a sanitation company called Browning-Ferris Industries and its subcontractor are joint employers of workers. It sent ripple effects down the franchising industry.
The industry preference is for parent companies and franchised locations to maintain their independence. "It will take some sort of legislative action to actually solve the changes that have been made under the Obama Labor Board. We want Congress to restore certainty to labor law as it relates to the definition of joint employment," says Haller.
Other regulations on the radar for small business include the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan Rule, which the NFIB has lobbied against, since it claims the rule will create higher costs for small companies as a result of expensive costs placed on state's electricity producers.