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News & Press: Arizona Business News Updates

NSBA president: Small business optimism on the rise

Tuesday, May 28, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rhette Baughman
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The president of the National Small Business Association said optimism is returning among the nation’s small businesses.

Todd McCracken, president of the NSBA was a panelist at the State of Small Business breakfast, held this morning by the Arizona Small Business Association.

McCracken said the economy is slowly improving on a national level. Over the last five years, he’s seen a lack of small business startups for a number of reasons, including loss of venture capital and a lack of a sense of optimism. However, that’s changing.

"I see optimism picking back up again,” McCracken said.

Small businesses were front and center today at ASBA’s Arizona Small Business Conference, which was held at the Phoenician.

Experts and politicians stressed this morning the importance of government having experience with the small business sector.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said 97 percent of all state businesses are small businesses.

"You create the jobs, wealth and prosperity, not the government,” said Brewer, which received a round of applause at the breakfast from the audience of small business owners. "We are working with the legislature to simplify sales taxes. I’ve got a plan to end this madness.”

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, one of the three panelists at the breakfast, said electing legislators who have worked with or run small businesses is key. Bennett ran his family-owned company Bennett Oil in Prescott for more than 30 years, which sold gasoline, diesel fuel and oil.

"It was a critical time for me to keep connected to the real world by running a small business,” Bennett said. "If a legislator hasn’t signed the fronts of checks, they don’t know what’s really going on.”

Bennett said locally he’s seen the negativity surrounding the state’s immigration stances waned.

"I don’t feel the black eye is as bad as some say it is,” Bennett said.

Brewer said 98,000 jobs in the state are expected to be available in the next year.

"We need to keep taxes lean, regulations lean and continue boosting education” to bolster the economy, Brewer said. "Arizona’s continued economy is my commitment. I will continue to make it easier for small businesses.”

McCracken said his group will continue to work on a non-partisan basis to help small businesses.

"We need to nail down specifics” from elected officials who say they want to help small businesses. "They need to do more than say, ‘Small businesses are the backbone of the economy.’”

Bennett stressed those in government must be careful with what the government does with small businesses.

He told a story about how an IRS auditor almost fined his company $50,000 for not having a six-inch sticker posted where it was supposed to be. He got a warning instead, but was told his business would be scrutinized in the future.

"That would have been two months’ worth of profit,” said Bennett, who added he begged and pleaded with the auditor not to fine him.

"The best thing government should do is get out of the way,” he said. "That was my key moment in life to what government can do to business.”

Source: Phoenix Business Journal
Written by: Hayley Ringle covers technology and startups for the Phoenix Business Journal.

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