Rep. Tom Reed and members of his Small Business Advisory Board met recently at Seneca Beverage in Elmira to discuss major obstacles facing "main street."
Reed heard from more than a dozen small business leaders on ways to break down governmental barriers to hiring and business growth.
"Without a doubt, the biggest takeaway from the discussion was how uncertainty coming out of Washington is hindering our small business owners," Reed said. "Major contributing factors include our $17 trillion dollar national debt, implementation of Obamacare, and the burdensome tax code. Uncertainty makes employers hesitant to make major investments in their businesses and as a result, we're not seeing the recovery we could."
Overall, business leaders expressed concern over the weight they feel from the national debt, saying until the economic climate improves, they won't be able to invest.
"Small businesses are not able, or not willing, to stick their necks out under current conditions. When small businesses our primary job creators don't invest, we put our entire economy at a disadvantage. We have to do better for these job creators," Reed said.
Reed also said his office is getting more small businesses looking for help as Obamacare is fully implemented. With three months until open enrollment begins, there are a number of steps small businesses must take to make sure they are compliant with the law.
"If a small business has more than 50 employees, they are subject to increased health care costs. Employers are either holding off hiring additional employees or cutting back hours so that full-time employees become part-time employees. We have never been an advocate of the President's health care law because we care about our small businesses and this provision is a prime example of why the law is bad policy," Reed said
Adding to the uncertainty is the country's 70,000-page tax code.
"With the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, it's no wonder why jobs are being shipped overseas. We need to make the United States easier to invest in and a simpler, fairer, less costly tax code that eliminates special interest loopholes will go a long way in allowing businesses to hire and invest. Giving businesses a tax code that's fair and saves them money - now that's a good start at providing certainty," Reed said.
State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblymen Phil Palmesano and Chris Friend also attended Reed's advisory board meeting.
"It's great to partner with local elected officials to bring business owners' collective concerns to the forefront in both state and federal government," Reed said.
In addition to the Small Business Advisory Board meeting, Reed has recently held meetings of his agricultural, veterans, and manufacturers' advisory boards.