In 3Points’ November blog post, we talked about our deep involvement with the Small Business Advocacy Council. Today, let’s do what small business does best: Let’s walk the talk.
Take a look at how SBAC is going toe-to-toe with issues on the federal, state and local levels.
Round 1: Uncle Sam Vs. Small Business Depreciation
Fact: Every year, many small businesses buy capital equipment – desks, cars, computers, etc. By law, you are required to depreciate these goods. An example: If you spend $100,000 this year (and the life of those goods is 4 years), you can only expense 25 percent per year and are taxed on the remaining $75,000. The real cost then of your capital expenditure is $125,000.
With Section 179 Expense Deduction and Bonus Depreciation, an SBAC-backed tax policy, you can avoid depreciation and take a first-year expense up to $250,000. Although voted on every January and December, lawmakers have never made the bill permanent. This stifles the economy, limits hiring and inhibits the buying of goods. We’re now leaning on legislators like Senators Kirk and Durbin to act on Section 179 Expense Deduction and Bonus Depreciation on a federal level.
Round 2: Prairie State Vs. Small Business Healthcare
Healthcare is one of the largest expenses for small business. Under the Affordable Care Act, states are allowed to create their own healthcare. In Illinois, however, it has long been illegal. The SBAC championed change and started a co-op with a group out of Northwestern University. Although our efforts were repeatedly shut down, the rejection fed our fire. After multiple trips to Springfield and Washington D.C., a compelling letter from Senator Dick Durbin, and empathetic support from Senator Mark Kirk, we created an affordable option for Illinois small businesses in 2014. Today, 50,000 plus lives are covered under the SBAC/Land of Lincoln PPO health plan.
Round 3: Windy City Vs. Business Signage
Within the City of Chicago, the SBAC has made strides to streamline approval for signage with the Signs of Change campaign. Historically, the entire city council (yes, every single person; this is not a typo) had to sign off on external business signage. Five different permits were required. Signs of Change brought everybody to the table to discuss how we could make it more efficient for small businesses and minimize the requirements for those signs that don’t overhang the public walkway (a staggering 85% of signage).
Other Small Business Milestones
One recent milestone for SBAC is in the area of equity crowdfunding. No need to outline the pains of 2008 here – we all felt the effects of repressive banking laws and a stagnant economy. The Illinois Equity Crowdfunding law, which takes effect January 1, 2016, opens up funding for small business like never before. Yet another example of SBAC’s temerity is a credit card that actually protects small businesses. Since bank funding is a challenge, many businesses use credit cards to finance purchases. Business protection, however, differs from its consumer counterpart. If your business credit card account is hacked, you’re liable for the full payment. The SBAC credit card (through MB Financial Bank) is now available and offers fraud protection small businesses never had before.
From the start, 3Points has focused on technology that evens the playing field for small business. Our work with the SBAC accomplishes the same goal on a broader scale. Next up, we’ll tackle a topic that affects every one of the 1,001,185 small businesses (gaebler.com) in Illinois: healthcare. See you then!
Steve Banke is cofounder and CEO of 3Points, LLC. Stay tuned for future blog articles on small business topics. He can be reached via email or call him at (708) 491-0300.