Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Borrello offers small business plan - News - Wellsville Daily Reporter

Borrello offers small business plan - News - Wellsville Daily Reporter


Borrello offers small business plan - News - Wellsville Daily Reporter

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 12:00 AM PDT

MAYVILLE — Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, the endorsed Republican, Conservative and Independence candidate for the State Senate's 57th District, has announced his First Employee Tax Credit Plan. The legislation, which would be one of the first bills he'd sponsor in the Senate, would assist single-owner start-ups to expand their operations and bring in their first employee.

Approximately half of the small businesses in New York State are sole proprietorships. Once a sole proprietorship moves to having paid employees, owners are responsible for workers compensation insurance and added business costs. Borrello's plan would give a state income tax credit to any business when it adds its first permanent payroll employee. In the first year, that credit would be 25 percent of the cost to employ that person (payroll, insurance, state and federal taxes) for the first year. It would lower to 20 percent the second year and 10 percent in the third year.

"For New Yorkers to succeed in our state's economy, more and more people are starting their own small businesses. Rather than make it difficult for these new entrepreneurs to succeed, we must do more to make it easier," Borrello said. "I've seen firsthand as a business owner that moving from a one-person operation to adding an employee is a major and costly step."

"Since adding just one employee disproportionately increases costs, taxation, regulation and overall burden, I am proposing a First Employee Tax Credit," he added. "Not only will this help a one-person operation expand his or her business by reducing their cost, it'll help more men and women find good-paying jobs."

George Borrello is running to fill the vacant 57th Senate District seat which became vacant following Cathy Young's retirement. He is squaring off with Allegany County Legislator Curt Crandall in the Republican primary. Profiles of both candidates will appear in print and online in the coming days. 

Beto O'Rourke unveils small business plan to address racial wealth disparities - Fox News

Posted: 16 Jun 2019 12:30 PM PDT

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, unveiled another plan geared toward ending racial inequality on Saturday, pledging that as president he would vastly expand the federal government's investment in women- and minority-owned businesses.

The 2020 hopeful claimed his plan would "unlock over half a trillion dollars" in resources and "spur the development of 200,000 new women and minority owned small businesses." It also would redirect $100 billion in federal contracting toward small businesses, expand access to mentorship opportunities, open a public credit reporting agency and work through certain avenues to expand access to markets and capital.

"Beto understands the unique challenges facing small business owners – and that those challenges are only heightened for women entrepreneurs and people of color," his campaign site read.

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"Beto's plan to inject capital and demand into America's small businesses, confront institutional racism and increase federal investment in minority and women owned businesses will enable small business owners to do what they do best: grow the economy and create jobs."

The announcement came as O'Rourke spoke at the Black Economic Alliance's presidential forum along with fellow 2020 contenders Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., as well as Sens. Cory  Booker, D-N.J. and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

O'Rourke in the past has acknowledged what he called the "privilege" he enjoyed as a straight, white male.

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He indicated his privilege popped up when he appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair earlier this year, a decision for which he later expressed remorse. O'Rourke, in May, also announced proposals designed to address racial inequality in the classroom.

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O'Rourke's plan came as the Democratic Party has undergone an internal debate over the extent of its focus on identity politics before the 2020 presidential election. While presidential candidate Andrew Yang predicted that focus would cost the party electoral victories, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams both defended it.

"I would argue that identity politics is exactly who we are, and it's exactly how we won," Abrams said in May.

Elizabeth Warren proposes $7 billion in grants for minority businesses - Vox.com

Posted: 15 Jun 2019 02:41 PM PDT

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a new plan on Friday to "level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color" by providing business grants to minorities in order to close the startup capital gap — the difference in capital available to white entrepreneurs versus entrepreneurs of color.

Warren argues that "every American should have a fair shot at starting a small business" but says the playing field is currently drastically uneven, with entrepreneurs of color starting businesses with far less money than their white counterparts. She writes that disparity severely affects minority-owned businesses' ability to attract investors and apply for credit, as well as their bottom lines.

"Disparity in startup capital is the single biggest reason that promising Black-owned businesses on average are less profitable and bring on fewer employees than white-owned businesses," she said.

In order to level the playing field for entrepreneurs, Warren has a plan to distribute $7 billion to minority businesspeople.

How the plan will work

Warren proposes distributing $7 billion in grants through a new "Small Business Equity Fund." She stresses that the money will be in the form of grants, "not loans or loan guarantees," in order to ensure entrepreneurs can focus on growing their businesses rather than on repaying debt.

The fund would be managed by Warren's comprehensive new Department of Economic Development, which Vox's Matthew Yglesias explained in a piece on Warren's "economic patriotism":

One specific bullet point on Warren's policy agenda is to create a unified Department of Economic Development that would combine the functions of the Commerce Department with the Small Business Administration, the Patent and Trademark Office, various job training and R&D programs scattered around the bureaucracy, and the export and trade agencies including the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The bureaucratic reorganization, however, is basically just to set the stage for a mission statement: "the new Department will have a single goal: creating and defending good American jobs."

Although the Small Business Equity Fund would be overseen at the federal level, Warren sees state and local stakeholders as being key to distributing funds; she says her program will be modeled on the State Small Business Credit Initiative, a federal program that gave states a great degree of say in how they chose to distribute $1.5 billion. This freedom was given as officials felt local leaders have a better grasp of the needs of entrepreneurs in their states than federal officials would. Under Warren's plan, local governments would be required to work with minority investment managers to decide how the funds would be spent.

The federal government would also create guidelines for who would be eligible for the grants: They would be limited to entrepreneurs who are eligible for the Small Business Administration's existing 8(a) program. To be eligible for that program, a business must be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual who has less than $100,000 in household wealth. This figure encompasses a large percentage of minority families; according to the Federal Reserve, the median net worth of a black family is $17,600, while the median net worth of a Latinx family is $20,700.

Warren would also work at the federal level to increase the Minority Business Development Agency's budget — she pledges to triple its funding in her presidential budget.

As with many of Warren's other plans, the cost of this proposal would be entirely covered by her proposed wealth tax, a 2 percent tax on every dollar of wealth an American owns above $50 million, and a 3 percent tax on every dollar of wealth above $1 billion. According to the candidate, the $7 billion investment would help create 100,000 new minority-owned businesses and as a result provide 1.1 million jobs.

The startup capital gap, and why it matters

Warren's proposal states that the startup capital gap is the single biggest reason minority-owned businesses are less profitable on average than white-owned businesses. And that capital gap is vast.

The typical black entrepreneur, the candidate notes, starts a business with one-third the startup capital of the typical white entrepreneur. Part of this is due to difficulties receiving loans; another part of it is that minority families often have less wealth to invest in a family member's startup than white families do. As a Stanford Business School report found, "Latino business owners tend to depend on personal savings and seed funding from friends and family to start their businesses," and are "much more likely [than white entrepreneurs] to use personal guarantees than business assets to secure financing."

Having less money at the beginning of a business makes it more difficult to attract money later on, as it limits the amount an entrepreneur can invest in things like prototyping, real estate, inventory, and marketing, all things that, when done successfully, attract new investors and credit.

While the wealth threshold to quality for Warren's program may seem relatively low, $100,000 is far more than most minority families have on hand, according to the senator, who cites research that found $100,000 is roughly five times the median net worth of Latinx and black families and more than 10 times the median net worth of Native American families.

Warren's plan invokes the language of reparations, something she has vocally endorsed on the campaign trail, particularly when it suggests that the government has an obligation to address the racial wealth gap "because the government helped create that wealth gap with decades of sanctioned discrimination." It is important to note, however, that this policy is for all minorities rather than just for black Americans.

How Warren's plan compares to other candidates' plans

Warren released her plan ahead of the Black Economic Alliance's presidential forum in South Carolina, which she will be attending alongside a number of other Democratic presidential candidates, including Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg.

O'Rourke released his own small business plan on Saturday, focusing on women, communities of color, and small businesses more generally. His plan hopes to create 200,000 new small businesses to Warren's 100,000, and pledges a $10 billion small business credit initiative for "economically distressed areas" to Warren's $7 billion Small Business Equity Fund. Notably, O'Rourke's plan doesn't give funding directly to small-business owners in the form of grants. Instead, it funds a range of programs designed to increase loan accessibility and reduce discrimination. Like Warren, he has pledged to triple investment in the Minority Business Development Agency in order to provide resources and mentorship to minority small business owners.

Booker is attending several South Carolina events around this weekend's forum, and is expected to use his stops to discuss the racial wealth gap and growing small businesses owned by African Americans, although he has not released a specific policy proposal.

Others Democrats have proposed more small-business-friendly policies. Both O'Rourke and Tulsi Gabbard have suggested cutting or offering deductions on small business taxes, but proposals such as these fail to account for the wealth gap that prevents entrepreneurs of color from opening a business in the first place.

This plan fits in well with Warren's myriad other plans

Warren has the most plans of any 2020 candidate, but almost all of her plans have the same overarching purpose: erasing the wealth gap. Her overall platform is focused on what she calls "economic patriotism," and this new plan fits right into that larger vision.

As Vox's Ezra Klein explained:

Warren's tagline is "I have a plan for that." And on one level, it's true: She has a lot of plans. But a clearer way of understanding her pitch is she's got one plan that she applies over and over again.

As Warren sees it, there's been a massive hoarding of wealth — and thus of power and opportunity — in this country. She wants to tax the wealth and redistribute both the money and the opportunity. She wants to break up concentrations of economic power by putting workers on corporate boards and unleashing antitrust regulators on Amazon and Facebook and ending Washington's revolving door. These are different policies, yes, but they all say the same thing: The wealthy have too much money and power, and Warren wants to change that.

Her newest proposal is grounded in these same themes: It disparages an "uneven playing field," and she argues that it will "move us closer to an America where everyone has a fair shot to succeed."

Economic issues remain a top concern for Democratic voters, and by adding her entrepreneurial investment plan to her portfolio of "economic patriotism" initiatives, Warren continues to suggest that addressing that concern is one of her top priorities.

Trump Admin Has a Plan to Bolster Private Insurance While Helping Small Businesses: 5 Things to Know About HRAs - Independent Journal Review

Posted: 18 Jun 2019 02:25 PM PDT

President Donald Trump has a plan to bolster the private insurance market while helping small businesses provide coverage to their employees.

Since the botched repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have been struggling to come up with a coherent policy on health care, prompting the Trump Administration to make changes of their own.

The Trump administration took steps to expand Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) as a health care option for employers.

Here are five things to know about HRAs and Trump's plan to improve private health care in the United States.

What are HRAs?

HRAs are taxed-preferred accounts where employers can put money to allow workers to shop for their own health insurance. Where many large companies choose one provider for all their employees, HRAs allow employers to fund their employees' health care while still allowing the employee to choose their own individual plan in the private market.

Prior to the Trump administration's changes, HRAs were not eligible for preferential tax treatment under the Affordable Care Act unless the HRA was funding an ACA-compliant group health plan. An HRA designed for the individual market wasn't allowed preferred tax status, disincentivizing businesses from funding workers in the individual market.

The White House noted, "Under the rule, employers will be able to provide their workers with tax-preferred funds to pay for the cost of health insurance coverage that workers purchase in the individual market."

How do HRAs help small businesses?

Providing health insurance is a necessity for hiring and maintaining employees, especially when the employee market is tight in a growing U.S. economy. Small businesses need to provide insurance in order to remain competitive, but affording coverage for small companies is a major problem.

HRAs allow businesses to fund their employees' coverage without strapping themselves to one large, expensive insurance program for their whole operation. As the White House explains, the new HRA rules allow employers to receive the same tax benefits large companies have while using an alternative funding mechanism.

"The rule corrects a major distortion by, in effect, providing the same tax benefits to these new HRAs that are provided today to traditional employer-sponsored plans."

Do HRAs provide high-quality health care for workers?

HRAs give workers a choice in their coverage. Some workers can opt to purchase the best-of-the-best insurance or a much cheaper plan that allows them more discretionary money. So while the coverage is up to the employee, a larger HRA system in the U.S. could lower costs in the individual market as a whole.

The White House argues that pouring an estimated 800,000 small business workers into the individual market will lower costs for everyone, writing, "More people obtaining coverage from the individual market should spur increased competition among insurers and help deliver better coverage options to consumers."

Not only could an increased insurance pool lower prices, but HRAs also take out an additional middle man in the insurance game.

As Avik Roy, president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity noted in an op-ed to the Washington Post, HRA's eliminate the "ninth party" from insurance.

"In the employer-based market, not only is a third party — the insurer — paying for health care, but another third party — the employer — is choosing and funding the insurance plan. Call it ninth-party health care. In this system, workers almost entirely lack the tools they need to shop for low-cost, high-quality health-care services."

What does Speaker Nancy Pelosi think about the proposal?

She hates it.

Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote in a press release that President Trump was trying to "dismantle American's health care" by bolstering HRAs. She claimed that allowing workers to shop for their own insurance will result in more people receiving "junk" coverage.

"And since Day One, the Trump Administration has worked relentlessly to push families into disastrous junk plans, increase their health care costs and gut their health care protections," Pelosi wrote.

While Pelosi thinks Americans will be receiving "junk plans," Katherine Hempstead, senior policy adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, told Vox that many workers might opt to join the options under the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

It isn't clear whether Pelosi, who forced the ACA through the House in 2010, actually thinks the individual market under the ACA is "junk."

What do 2020 Democrats think of HRAs?

Considering that several 2020 Democrats have called for private insurance to be abolished, they probably won't like the Trump administration bolstering the private market.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has repeatedly explained that he would need to abolish private health care in order to push "Medicare for All," as IJR reported.

In a statement about his plan, Trump called out 2020 Democrats pushing expensive, universal health care, saying, "We're putting the people back in charge with more choice for better care at a far lower cost — and other people will not be paying for their health care. We won't be taxing you into oblivion."

As IJR previously reported, experts believe that Americans would need to more than double their taxes to afford Medicare for All.

Overhauled business plan bearing fruit, Avanti says - SpaceNews

Posted: 18 Jun 2019 08:32 AM PDT

SANTA BARBARA — British satellite operator Avanti, whose revenues have declined since 2015, said it has rewritten its business plan to make consumer broadband a smaller portion of overall revenues.

Selling capacity to other satellite operators is now one of Avanti's main priorities, followed by selling to the U.S. Defense Department, Avanti CEO Kyle Whitehill said in a June 10 financial report.

Avanti reported $53.5 million in revenue for 2018, down $3.1 million from its previous fiscal year. Despite the decline, Avanti said it gained financial momentum in the last six months of 2018 by executing on its revised strategy, which in turn increased backlog by more than $100 million. The company tallied $166.4 million in contracted backlog as of Dec. 31.

Avanti signed a $10 million contract with fleet operator Viasat of Carlsbad, California, in June 2018 for capacity on its newest satellite, Hylas-4. This May, Avanti leased capacity to Turkish fleet operator Turksat on its Hylas-2 satellite.

To address the U.S. military market, Avanti said it has established an office in Washington, and has a seven-year contract with Defense Department contractor Comsat that gives the operator immediate access to new military customers.

Whitehill said Hylas-4, which launched in April 2018, is well positioned to support cellular backhaul in Africa. 

Avanti forecasts overall revenues to increase 67 percent this year, and an additional 30 percent in 2020, largely through new government customers on Hylas-4 and the upcoming Hylas-3 hosted payload. The company's satellites have coverage over Africa, the Middle East and Europe. 

Battling obsolescence

Avanti recorded additional impairment charges against one of its satellites and a leased payload, blaming falling capacity pricing for making those assets less competitive. Geostationary communications satellites typically last 15 years — and in some cases longer — but Avanti is finding its satellites struggling to compete well before their expected end of life.

Avanti's six-year-old Hylas-2 satellite failed to match early growth forecasts and "by today's standards has a relatively high cost" per megahertz, Avanti said. The company said it was reporting a $67.1 million impairment charge on the satellite due to its lessened utilization.

Hylas-2B, a payload Avanti leases on SES's Astra 5B satellite, is also less competitive with lower priced capacity from competing satellites, Avanti said, leading to an impairment charge of $12.5 million.

Avanti said it has migrated all but two customers off its oldest satellite, the nine-year-old Hylas-1. Those customers are using the satellite for a few more months, after which the full capacity will be utilized by a single customer under a seven-year, $84 million contract announced in September. The undisclosed customer, described as a "major international satellite service provider," will start using the satellite in the fourth quarter of this year, Avanti said. That customer will use a significantly higher amount of Hylas-1's capacity, providing enough revenue to support the satellite's carrying value, Avanti said. 

Avanti's long-awaited Hylas-3 hosted payload is now scheduled to launch in late July aboard Airbus and the European Space Agency's European Data Relay Satellite C. Originally expected to launch in 2015, the payload has eight beams that Avanti described as more marketable because of their steerable design. Hylas-3 is Avanti's last major investment "for the foreseeable future," Chairman Paul Walsh said. The payload and host satellite are launching on an Ariane 5 rocket.

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