The supercommittee was established in the aftermath of the debt ceiling debacle to recommend solutions to the federal budget deficit. It’s due to report recommendations by November 22nd. Will it’s recommendations affect small businesses?
The answer is most certainly yes and indications are it appears the expected decision by the supercommittee certainly affect businesses in a negative way in the short and medium term.
The supercommitte has to decide whether to recommend just spending cuts, or a combination of spending cuts and higher revenues, a euphemism for higher taxes. If the supercommittee provides recommendations that are heavy or solely cuts, expect steep cuts to major government programs in the next few years. This will have to include cuts to major programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, NASA, and defense, if the reason for the existence of the supercommittee and it’s goals are to be met. It will have to result in cuts to many smaller programs such as farm programs, the small business administration, the department of Transportation, and others. This will affect small businesses in many ways.
Medicare / Medicaid – Many physicians accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. When Medicare and Medicaid are cut, both programs will likely be forced to lower the reimbursement rate to doctors seeking reimbursement for services they have already provided to their customers. This will further cut into the profits of medical practices, lowering their gross receipts and profit margins. Many physicians may feel that they cannot run a profitable enough business. This will result in many physicians and medical practices discontinuing to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients, or discontinue accepting new Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Defense and NASA – If the defense department is significantly cut due to the recommendations of the supercommittee, it will have a major affect on many businesses across the country. In addition to the large defense contractors, there are thousands of smaller contractors that work with the larger contractors. There are even smaller companies that contract with these smaller contractors. Many more businesses derive their revenue simply by being located in the area of the largest contractors. Businesses such as restaurants, gas stations and retail shops will all take a hit. The defense department is at the top of the food chain and any changes have long tailed effects. With a budget in the $700 billion range, a $100 billion or $200 billion dollar cut can have a major affect on the economy.
Other programs – Other cuts by the supercommittee may affect the Small Business Administration, farm programs, the department of transportation, the department of education, and a long list of programs.
The mainstream perception is that there is major pressure on the supercommittee to cut spending, and that doing so is a good thing. There has been very little discussion of how it will affect the economy. Long term effects of a lower budget deficit will be positive 5 to 10 years out. However, cutting spending in the short and medium term, as outlined above, will negatively affect many businesses. Revenues will be lower, contracts will be cut, businesses that are indirect recipients of the government programs will see lower sales as the businesses they feed off of have lower revenues.
In short, spending cuts by the supercommittee means less money to businesses, regardless of the issue whether the government has been overspending or not.
A – The SBA (small business administration) may get hit with cuts along with the many other non defense programs. Small businesses are having a very difficult time now getting loans from banks. If the SBA loan programs are cut back in funding, businesses will have even fewer options than they had before.
B – Farm Programs - Currently, farmers and businesses related to farming sometimes need government programs to assist them during times of droughts, early frosts and other times of crop destruction. Reductions in these programs will put farmers and related industries under greater pressure and more farmers may be forced out of business.
C – The department of Transportation – New highway construction programs, highway repair, rail programs such as Amtrack, funds for building and updating shipping ports will all take a hit if the department of transportation is cut.
Small Business Loans Resources:
SBA Community Blog and Forum – Blog and Forums by the SBA, Small business administration. Questions can be asked and answers provided.
U.S. Department of Commerce – Helps american businesses become more innovative at home and competitive abroad.
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis – Provides statistics on consumer spending, corporate profits, travel and tourism and much more.
Entrepreneurworld – Resource for Entrepreneurs, including starting your own business, growing your business.
Bureau of Labor Statistics – Provides companies with up to date information on employment, demand, hiring, productivity and other information that may be useful to companies.
International Trade Administration – Creates jobs and economic growth by promotingU.S. companies abroad to governments in other countries.
More Small Business Loans resources:
Department of Labor – Provides information on many labor issues that can be useful to companies, such as insurance, regulation, wages, wage hours, compensation, safety and health
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office –U.S. office to file patents to protect a companies new or existing proprietary products.
U.S. Trade and Development Agency – Promotes U.S. Exports to Foreign Countries, please review if your company is interested in exporting goods to foreign countries.
CEO Refresher - A monthly newsletter on creative leadership ideas. Short articles, brief book reviews, models, management tools, quotations and commentary.
E-Network for CEOs – Online articles and much more for CEO’s
Public Radio Planet Money – All issues money related to the public.
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