If the election was about jobs, it’s time to take the reins off businesses and let them get to work creating those jobs. That’s the view of Dan Houk, NPCA chairman of the Board and president/CEO of Wilbert Precast Inc., Spokane, Wash.
“The number one thing on the minds of voters is jobs, and precast manufacturers and other small businesses can’t create jobs with all the uncertainty that has been thrown at us,” Houk said. The health care bill, lending practices, pending EPA and OSHA regulations and tax rates are just a few of the unanswered questions facing small businesses like Wilbert Precast, Houk said.
“It is my hope that the new Congress will understand our concerns and act decisively to remove the uncertainty so we can get back to work. We’re feeling handcuffed right now,” he said. “Many of the small business owners I talk with would like to hire workers, buy equipment and push ahead, but we can’t plan for the future with all these big unanswered questions.”
Taxes are one example cited by Houk. “We’re in limbo right now because in 2011 the rates revert back to 2003 levels, unless Congress passes a budget,” he said. “Higher rates will significantly lower the available capital to invest and we can’t do any planning in this area until we know where we stand.”
A second issue that has business owners worried is a revenue-producing provision of the health care bill that would require businesses to file 1099 tax forms on every vendor. It’s a measure that would add a blizzard of paperwork for all businesses and would be especially burdensome to smaller companies.
“We’re hoping both sides will work together to get rid of some of these regulations that kill productivity and create a climate where we can produce,” Houk said.
Houk said that NPCA will be working to represent the precast industry’s interests to Congress during the coming months. “Small businesses are where jobs are created in this country, and we’re going to let Congress know that we’re ready to get back to work if they will remove the roadblocks.”