Holiday sales are vital to a business’s bottom line. In fact, the holiday season can generate as much as 20 to 40 percent of annual sales for many small and mid-sized retailers.
While the advertising industry is in full swing around Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the unfortunate reality is that this year we’re faced with an uncertain economic climate because of the recent government shutdown, which could lead to fewer folks hitting the shops. In a recent survey, the National Retail Federation found that nearly one-third of consumers said the recent political gridlock surrounding the government shutdown may affect their holiday spending plans, and more than half said the current economic outlook would impact their holiday shopping. To add insult to injury, this is the shortest holiday season in a decade, which means businesses will have fewer days than usual to entice shoppers with their wares. What this all boils down to is that the stakes are higher than ever for entrepreneurs during the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
While it’s imperative consumers remember small businesses on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday shopping season, lawmakers must do the same and push smart policies across the finish line that groups on both sides of the aisle support. These, coupled with a strong holiday season, will go a long way in helping small businesses create new jobs and strengthen our fragile economy.
Long-Term Solutions to Our Debt
Our opinion polling has shown that strengthening the economy is a top priority for small business owners, and they want it to be lawmakers’ as well. When it comes to the debt ceiling, small employers want a long-term solution that gives them the certainty they need to make long-term decisions about their businesses. A continual state of crisis is bad for consumer, investor and business confidence.
Before we reach the debt ceiling again in early 2014, Congress needs to come together to find a solution to this problem now and for the future. Our polling found that by a 3:2 ratio, the majority of entrepreneurs want a resolution to our recurring debt ceiling issue that is long-term so the U.S. can pay its bills without the debt ceiling coming up for political votes over and over again. What’s more, a 55 percent majority agrees that this ongoing issue allows politicians to hold the economy hostage to their own spending priorities and threatens the U.S credit rating.
A Comprehensive Immigration Reform Plan
Small businesses strongly believe our immigration system is broken and they support comprehensive immigration reform. Our polling found small businesses believe creating a path to earned citizenship is the most appropriate solution for handling our country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. Three-quarters agree with the Senate’s plan to turn them into taxpayers—which would add $1.5 trillion to the economy over the next 10 years and produce a net increase in tax revenue of $4.5 billion to $5.4 billion in the first three years alone
House lawmakers’ decision to abandon any attempts at moving forward with immigration reform this year is disappointing for small employers, workers and the economy. Small businesses have voiced their strong support for immigration reform because they believe it will be good for America, good for small businesses and provide major economic benefits. The failure to address this issue doesn’t do our primary job creators or our still-struggling economy any favors. Lawmakers should reconsider their decision to table this bill and put it back on the docket now in order to help support our small businesses.
While holiday shopping sales are vital for small businesses, the current economic outlook is putting a damper on the most profitable time of year. Many small businesses are feeling the aftershocks of the fiscal crisis, which is why it’s so crucial consumers support their favorite local businesses this weekend, and that politicians show that they are serious about supporting them. Entrepreneurs need all the help they can get to help grow our economy, and lawmakers should enact smart policies that give them what they need to compete.