PR and Politics
by Gloria Lesher on 08/12/2009
Are you an entrepreneur? A self-employed professional with employees? A small business owner?
House Democrats are proposing a surtax ranging from 1 percent to 5.4 percent on those persons who make $280,000 or more. The Treasury Department has estimated that more than six of every 10 individuals who earn $280,000 or more are small business owners, operators, or investors. Half of all small businesses with 20 to 249 employees are likely to have their income affected by the surtax.
The surtax would continue to rise the more money you make. The problem is that the proposal does not include any exemptions for S corporations or other small businesses. But as high a percentage as 75 percent of all businesses are organized as S-Corporations, which means they pay income tax as individuals.
Policymakers at the Capitol are considering a health care reform bill that will require businesses to provide insurance for employees or pay a tax equivalent to 8% of payroll. Legislation passed by one House committee specifies that businesses with payrolls under $500,000 would be exempt from the mandate and the payroll tax. Separate legislation passed by two other House committees exempts only businesses with $250,000 or less in payroll.
If there ever was a time for entrepreneurs and small business owners to step into the political arena and make their voices heard, it is now. This is not “politics” so much as good public relations. PR and politics are both involved in influencing the public and the decision-making process.
Are you a self-employed insurance agent, for example? What do you think of a government-run insurance plan? Make your opinions known. Respond to blogs, write an op-ed for your local newspaper or stand up and speak at a town meeting.
Big business has lobbyists galore. All small business has are the voices of individuals who are concerned enough and courageous enough to speak out.