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WIPP Works In Washington - October 2013

posted Dec 10, 2013, 11:18 AM by Ann Sullivan   [ updated Dec 10, 2013, 12:03 PM ]
Enough Already

By Ann Sullivan

Much of October has been devoted to the government shutdown, but if you feel like I do, I can't bear to hear one more thing about the divide in Washington nor read one more article dissecting who won or who lost (truth is everyone lost--not the least of which were women-owned businesses). Let's talk about something else.

Let's talk government policy changes that the Congress and the White House have left to do that would make a difference in our slowly rebounding economy. First, the need to put in place a federal budget beyond three months. We sound like a broken record, but who can make business decisions without knowing what the future of the tax code looks like, whether the government will be open or whether or not government backed loans will be available when we need them. Maybe you don't think you use any government services or maybe you are not a government contractor but look around-- you depend on a functioning government more than you might think. The fact of the matter is that our society is dependent upon a functioning government and businesses trying to sell their goods or services depend on a stable economic environment to thrive.

The second task is a functioning rollout of Obamacare. WIPP has been very clear that the success of the state marketplaces are critical to the future of small employers' ability to offer healthcare to their employees. That being said, the media is full of stories of overwhelmed websites, unprepared navigators and an unfavorable customer experience in the first few weeks of enrollment. If the websites don't become functional quickly, the March deadline to obtain healthcare coverage might well be delayed. Of course, I am pretty pessimistic that Congress will be much of a help because, after all, there are many in Congress dedicated to Obamacare's failure.

The third, fourth and fifth issues Congress should deal with is the deployment of capital to entrepreneurs, putting effective training and counseling programs into place for budding entrepreneurs as well as those who want to grow their companies and helping entrepreneurs understand the global economy. The list is much longer, but if we could get these right many unemployed workers would have the opportunity to create their own jobs and help their communities prosper.

Use this opportunity to contact your elected officials in Washington and tell them enough already. Move forward and get to work. Our businesses depend on it.