Time for a New Labor Day

Riley JohnsonCould there be a more perfect conversion of symbolism about what is wrong with the American economy than what will take place on Sept. 5 in Detroit? There, a president of the United States, whose regulatory excesses have stifled meaningful job creation, will make a Labor Day speech to union workers now only a faint representation of their former numbers in a city whose major industries were rescued not by innovation, but by a massive Berlin airlift of taxpayer dollars.

It's not time to junk Labor Day as a federal holiday. It's time to honor the real labor rolling up its sleeves and pulling the rickety buckboards of the American and Montana economic wagons—Small-business owners and the self-employed. 

Established in 1894 to honor the contributions of union workers, Labor Day is now only a distant echo of the numbers it once stood for. According to a news release issued earlier this year by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "the union membership rate ... was 11.9 percent, down from 12.3 percent a year earlier." It is worth noting that this statistic includes both government and private-sector union members.

Read more: Time for a New Labor Day

Does the Senate have what it takes?

On Jan. 19th, courage overcame politics as the U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal President Obama’s new healthcare law. Now it’s senators’ turn to show the American people they care more about the nation’s economic future than scoring partisan points.

It might help senators to pause at the Senate Chamber’s western entrance and draw inspiration from “Courage,” a sculpture above the door of a warrior battling a deadly serpent.  That’s an accurate image of the struggle facing small-business owners if the misnamed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act slithers free of Congress’ grasp.

Read more: Does the Senate have what it takes?

Business Owners Expect Sub-par Growth

The National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism gained 0.7 points in August, rising to 88.8.  Most of the improvement was accounted for by gains in expected real sales and expectations for business conditions six months out, the two components that lowered the index in July.  But despite their improvements, both measures are still in recession territory.  

“Small business owners are expecting sub-par growth in the second half of 2010,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist. “Consumers are pessimistic, business owners are pessimistic and Washington’s leadership has been unable to inspire any confidence in the future.”

Read more: Business Owners Expect Sub-par Growth

NFIB Launches Worker Comp Program

NFIB Montana members are now eligible for discounted workers’ compensation coverage

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) announced it has extended  discounted workers’ compensation coverage benefits to its small business members in Montana through EMPLOYERS®, America’s small business insurance specialist®. NFIB Montana members are now eligible to receive a five percent discount on workers’ compensation insurance policies with EMPLOYERS.

Read more: NFIB Launches Worker Comp Program

Self-employed do Their Part

From NASE (National Association of Self Employed)

The unemployment rate is now at its lowest level - 9.4 percent - in 19 months, despite millions of Americans who would like to go back to work. While this signals a move in the right direction, Americans have become accustomed to a monthly dose of bad news from the Department of Labor. These figures, though gloomy, would be much worse if a significant number of workers were not keeping themselves off of unemployment by finding freelance work and going into business for themselves.

Read more: Self-employed do Their Part

NFIB Joins Lawsuit Challenging Healthcare

By Dan Danner, President

National Federation of Independent Business

“Today the NFIB joined the 20 states in this historic lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The fundamental mission of our organization is to promote and protect the rights of small businesses and the self-employed to own, operate and grow their business, and this healthcare law directly undermines this core value.

“We didn’t enter into the decision to join this lawsuit lightly – we have been representing small business owners since 1943 and we take this responsibility extremely seriously. But the outpouring of opposition to this new law was overwhelming and our members urged us to do everything in our power to stop this unconstitutional law.

Read more: NFIB Joins Lawsuit Challenging Healthcare

Beneath the Stars Are a Lot of Supporting Cast

Montana - National Federation of Independent Business

A lot of big stars and big sponsors will help kick off National Small Business Week on Monday (May 16), but underneath it all – as America’s leading small-business association reminded everyone today –are the mom-and-pop, Main Street enterprises that have distinctly different difficulties from larger companies in remaining solvent.

Read more: Beneath the Stars Are a Lot of Supporting Cast

No-Choice Health Insurance?

National Federation of Independent Business

“People have no choice and there is no way to avoid it.”

With those words, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson cleared the way recently for the National Federation of Independent Business and 20 states to challenge the constitutionality of President Obama’s sweeping health reform law, a program that has the potential to choke one of the nation’s most important economic engines: small business.

On Dec. 16, NFIB and its co-plaintiffs will argue in federal court that the White House’s so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act denies Americans choice and must be repealed.

Read more: No-Choice Health Insurance?

What You Need to Know

By Dan Danner, President

National Federation of Independent Business

The long debate over healthcare reform has ended, leaving many small business owners more confused than ever over what to expect. But they know one thing—they’ll be paying for it for years to come.

The package won’t be fully implemented until 2018. However, there are important provisions that will be effective this year, in 2011 and 2012 that entrepreneurs need to begin planning for now. The changes largely involve new taxes, fees and mandates on individuals and small business.

Read more: What You Need to Know

Market Update

1 DOW 20,459.97
-136.75 (-0.66%)    
2 S&P 2,331.76
-12.22 (-0.52%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,806.69
-22.05 (-0.38%)    
4 MDU 26.83
-0.35 (-1.29%)    
5 SWC 17.40
-0.01 (-0.06%)    
6 EBMT 19.85
-0.05 (-0.25%)    
7 FIBK 38.20
-0.95 (-2.43%)    
8 GBCI 32.14
-0.79 (-2.40%)