In the year I have served as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, I’ve witnessed tremendous change and growth within the small business community. Visiting businesses across the region, I am amazed by both the entrepreneurs who drive our economy and the dedicated SBA staff and partners who serve them. These men and women are bringing our country back to prosperity, and they are grateful for smart legislation and the executive leadership of the Trump Administration that help them succeed instead of holding them back.
The economy’s historic boom of 2018 continues well into 2019, benefiting all Americans as job creation is soaring and wages are on the rise. More than 2.6 million jobs were created in 2018, and for the first time on record, there are more job openings than people looking for work. The national unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for the past 12 months – the longest streak in nearly five decades – and as a result, hourly wage growth exceeded three percent for the first time in almost a decade.
The Trump Administration has rolled back job-killing regulations to unleash an economic boom across all sectors of the economy. Small business owners will tell you that complying with unnecessary regulations is particularly hard on them as they don’t have the staff or financial resources that larger companies have. In 2018, federal agencies issued 12 deregulatory actions for every new significant regulatory action, saving businesses $23 billion in regulatory costs.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has spurred more business investment and put more money in the pockets of American workers. Real disposable personal income increased by $2,300 last year. Business investment and productivity are on the rise thanks to the tax cuts, with businesses spending an additional $300 billion on maintaining equipment and facilities. Business sector productivity also grew at nearly twice the rate of the expansion prior to the tax cuts.
Among the many other beneficial provisions of the tax law that are creating positive impacts for small businesses around the country is the new 20 percent pass-through deduction, which lets individual business owners deduct 20 percent of their income from a sole proprietorship (and some other small business categories) on their personal tax returns. The SBA encourages small business owners who are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity to work with their tax professionals to see if their business qualifies for this and some other important, new deductions.
As Tax Day approaches, we see small business owners taking advantage of the tax cuts and deregulation efforts led by President Trump to invest in their companies and their employees by raising wages, providing bonuses, increasing benefits, and creating more jobs. The economy is strong, and small businesses are thriving. Contact your local SBA office or one of our partner organizations to get help starting or growing your own small business. The road to your success starts with a visit to www.sba.gov.
Michelle Christian is the SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator.