It’s time for change, not politics as usual.
Because I owned small businesses most of my life, I understand the issues facing small business owners. As a State Representative from 1982-1989 I served on the Business Affairs and Labor Committee, four years as ranking member. I was endorsed by both business and labor.
As your State Representative:
1. I will support legislation giving Colorado small business owners a preference when awarding contracts for goods and services.
2. I will introduce legislation simplifying our complicated sales tax collection and reporting system. Businesses should remit sales tax to the state, and the Department of Revenue should then send each jurisdiction its portion. We must eliminate this burden on small business owners.
3. I will work to reward responsible small businesses who pay their workers fairly and provide benefits. I’ll support legislation that requires this to be considered when awarding contract, rather than automatically accepting low bids from bad corporate citizens.
4. I will work with small business owners to develop new ideas for public-private partnerships that can level the playing field in favor of locally owned small businesses and provide the capital needed to grow and prosper.
5. I will fight to ensure that tax codes favor small businesses over large corporations which often avoid taxes altogether, leaving small business owners to make up the shortfall in higher taxes. This includes the personal property tax.
6. I will work to set up state programs aimed at assisting sole-entrepreneurs. Many times, they need capital to launch their enterprise, yet they may not have the credit or collateral to get a bank loan and are too small to attract investor capital.
7. I will push state and community colleges to offer courses on compliance with government regulation in their business departments, as well as to offer credit-based internships to business students whose job is to help small business owners comply with burdensome regulations and complicated forms. This would benefit both the student and the small business owner.
8. I will push legislation that gives incentives to big businesses to pay invoices to small businesses on an expedited basis to improve their cash flow. It would mean a great deal to a small business owner to get paid in 10 days rather than 30, 60, or 90 days.
9. I will work to make sure that insurance companies pay claims to health care providers and/or their patients on an expedited basis without unreasonable denials. Small practitioners including family doctors, clinics, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists, and acupuncturists need the cash flow from these claims to survive.
The federal and state governments give tax breaks, subsidies and anti-competitive advantages to big corporations, but the small business owner does not enjoy the same advantages. Often, these anti-competitive policies shut small business owners out.
Whenever lobbyists talk legislators into a giving a tax break to a particular big businesses or billionaire, small businesses get stuck with the bill.
Government must provide the atmosphere and amenities that create a vibrant community so other businesses will locate here and attract population growth to provide future customers. But taxes must be fair and not unnecessarily burdensome.
We need to make certain that we do not over-regulate small businesses. Regulations impact small businesses harder than large corporations who have the funds to hire a team of compliance managers, or who get themselves exempted by paid lobbyists not available to the small business owner. This does not mean small businesses can escape all regulation, but they should be exempted from burdensome regulation.