Tis the Season for Small Business
By Rep. Kristi Noem
“Small Business Saturday” is a relatively new phenomenon. While Black Friday has marked the beginning of the Christmas shopping season for more than a half century, the Saturday after Thanksgiving didn’t earn its title until 2010. But despite the lack of a formal shopping day for all these years, small businesses have found success in South Dakota for generations.
Time and again, South Dakota is ranked as a top state to start and run a business, which might explain how we have more than 83,000 in the state. I’ve always been proud to have contributed to this culture of small business, running our farm and ranch, starting a hunting lodge, helping manage a restaurant my mom had, and pursuing a handful of other ventures. I’m grateful for those experiences and now use them to write better policy.
One of the reasons so many small businesses succeed in South Dakota is that we have an extremely favorable tax environment. A 2017 study by Fundera confirmed South Dakota small businesses can take advantage of the second-lowest tax burden in the nation.
I pushed for this low-tax approach as we’ve debated federal tax reform as well. Through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed the House in November 2017, we reduce small business rates to historically low levels, expand expensing tools, preserve interest deductibility, repeal the Death Tax, and more. Additionally, for those small businesses that file as individuals, we double the standard deduction, keep popular retirement savings options, and dramatically increase the Child Tax Credit and other family credits.
Outside of tax reform, I’ve heard from a lot of small businesses about the Health Insurance Tax (or HIT). This is an Obamacare tax that disproportionately affects middle-income Americans and small businesses. The National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation found the HIT will cost between 152,000 and 286,000 jobs by 2023, with 57 percent of those lost jobs coming from small businesses.
While I’m fighting to repeal Obamacare entirely, I’ve also introduced separate bipartisan legislation to repeal the HIT. If enacted, the provision could save families as much as $400 per year in healthcare premium costs, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
Additionally, I’ve worked closely with the Trump administration to roll back harmful regulations that have stopped companies of all sizes from expanding. Month after month, we’ve seen the impact of those changes. During the third quarter of 2017, the U.S. economy grew by 3.3 percent – the fastest expansion we’ve seen in three years. That growth fuels job creation and is key to pushing wages higher.
Around 59 percent of South Dakota’s workforce, or more than 200,000 people, is employed by a small business. K Bar J Leather Company is one of those companies, employing about 10 people in Newell. The company’s founder, Jack, actually went to prom with one of my neighbors, but he and I had the chance to sit down when he was in Washington, D.C., this summer to show off his leatherwork to President Trump. It was part of the administration’s “Made in America Week.”
Jack got started in the 1970s and has built his business while building a family. Today, the company produces about 2,000 pairs of chaps a year. It’s businesses like this that keep our small towns alive and keep South Dakota’s economy as strong as it is.
As you get ready for the season of gift-giving, I encourage you to use every Saturday as a “Small Business Saturday.” In giving them your business, you’re supporting your state, your community, your neighbors.