Small businesses wary, worried after election

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Small business owners concerned about the economy and their livelihoods felt no better with President Barack Obama’s re-election on Tuesday.
Many said the past four years have been difficult for their businesses due to a combination of a tough economy and a perception that the administration has done little to help them.
Weather’s Auto Supply owner Mike Mason said he was disappointed in the outcome.
“Obamacare is the major issue,” he said, referring to the Affordable Care Act.
Mason said he’s done a little research, and he’s still not sure what health care reform will mean or how it will affect his business.
“I had two employees ask what our future was,” he said. “I just don’t know.”
He said the 2 percent payroll tax holiday enjoyed by employees didn’t affect employers.
“The money didn’t disappear; business owners still had to pay in, and for us, that was $25,000 for the year,” he said.
He also said the unemployment benefits extension forced businesses to pay more toward unemployment insurance.
Expanding health care benefits is another layer of expense small businesses will have to absorb in one way or another, Mason fretted.
Eddie Scott, owner of Computer Universe had another take on the election.
“This redistribution of wealth is the biggest problem I have. … why should I work hard to help my family and employees but let somebody else who’s not working take it.”
With 19 employees and stores in Tupelo and Pontotoc, Scott said he’s in position to grow and open more stores.
Or rather, he was. Now he’s thinking about waiting a little longer while the dust clears over the impending fiscal cliff and implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Those uncertainties don’t instill confidence in any business owner, Scott said.
“It’s taken away any incentive to open more stores, and that takes away jobs and takes away tax dollars for the community,” he said.
Way-Fil Jewelry owner Patti Thompson was more pragmatic in her view.
“I’m glad the election over,” she said.
Like Scott, Thompson has her concerns, too.
“Small businesses – we’re trying to figure out what do with the Affordable Health Care Act,” she said. “But we are happy to see some of the benefits.
“I just hope that Senate and the House can work with Obama and stop their nonsense,” she added.

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