On the eve of the start of New York’s legislative session, it is alarming to look at the state of affairs for small business owners.
They are concerned. They are not confident. They do not feel that better days are in their immediate future.
While it is a natural part their entrepreneurial lives to deal with a large measure of uncertainty, we are entering dangerous territory. Look no further than today’s historically poor small business survey conducted by NFIB.
Political uncertainty. Minimal, if any, job creation. Poor outlook for the next 6 months. While these statistics reflect small business nationally, here in New York, these feelings are alive and well.
In Washington DC, the election results coupled with the unknown impact of the upcoming debt ceiling debate, the fiscal cliff debacle, and the pending implementation of the Affordable Care Act all have small businesses on edge.
In New York, we have a continued minimum wage fight, lack of clarity to the natural gas development debate, the economic fallout and recovery from Superstorm Sandy, lack of mandate relief and the complete uncharted territory of the State Senate power sharing agreement have put small businesses in a very skeptical and cynical place.
Tomorrow’s speech by Governor Cuomo will cover many, many topics. Some with more specificity than others. But what I am looking for, what small business is looking for, is a message that the focus will return to the economy and small business. That the taxpayers, schools and municipalities will see meaningful mandate relief. That there will be a positive answer to the natural gas development question.
Small business will respond to that needed message of fiscal responsibility. Optimism may creep up and the dense fog of uncertainty may start to lift. The Governor’s message tomorrow can do that. Lawmakers heeding this call can do that.
It starts tomorrow.