Score Cards and White Papers: Read here to learn more about how SBAM is helping to shape the future of Michigan’s economy

The Small Business Association of Michigan has launched a major new initiative entitled Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan. This new economic direction focuses on entrepreneurial growth, small business job creation and a new state focus on economic gardening. The initiative will aggressively hold the new governor and legislators accountable for supporting home-grown small business job providers.


Learn more by clicking on the links below. And bookmark for updates on our efforts.


Looking for ideas on how to contain your healthcare costs? Attend the Michigan Purchasers Health Alliance Conference Sept. 23 in Ann Arbor

The Michigan Purchasers Health Alliance Conference in Ann Arbor will be held on Sept. 23, 7 : 30 am – 4 pm at Washtenaw Community College Campus - Morris Lawrence Building, Ann Arbor.


This year's theme is titled “Local Healthcare Reform : Cost Containment Opportunities for Employers” with the Keynote Address : “The Impact of Health Reform on Coverage in Michigan ” Marianne Udow-Phillips, Director Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation. Specifics on healthcare reform issues for employers will be presented by Peter Pratt, CEO Public Sector Consultants. A panel of local healthcare experts will discuss their perspective of Healthcare Reform. Cost containment and monitoring tools will demonstrate opportunities for cost savings.


Registration information available here.


SBAM issues “Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan” White Paper

As part of its ongoing public policy initiative geared to revitalizing Michigan’s economy, the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) today issued a “Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan” White Paper. The research document, available for download here, adds detail to the reasoning behind SBAM’s efforts to encourage a significant shift in the state of Michigan’s economic development efforts toward “economic gardening.”


“We seek to temper the public sector’s traditional role of using tax credits and incentives to lure industry and business from outside the state, and instead suggest a new emphasis on making Michigan welcoming and nurturing for the home-grown, high-growth small businesses that are proven to be the true job-makers,” says SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler.


The White Paper details the elements of a successful economic gardening strategy, including information, infrastructure and environment; lists the services valued by growth-oriented business owners and explains how Michigan’s economy and citizens will benefit from economic gardening.


SBAM seeks feedback and reactions to the White Paper. That input will be used to help shape SBAM’s next major initiative in the Propelling a New Economic Direction for Michigan campaign: a ‘blueprint” for Michigan’s future economic direction that will be issued in early October.


The White Paper was prepared for SBAM by Public Policy Associates of Lansing with the support of the Edward Lowe Foundation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Small Business Foundation of Michigan.


What do you think of the White Paper? Leave a comment below or participate in our forum.


Vote in the Aug. 3 Primary Election! See SBAM's endorsements here

The Small Business Association of Michigan’s Small Biz PAC has endorsed candidates for Michigan State House and State Senate races.

In this audio podcast, Michael Rogers talks with Director of Government Relations Mike Batterbee about how the candidates were selected and why they deserve the support of small business voters in the Aug. 3 primary.


Questions? Contact Mike Batterbee at (800) 362-5461.


What do you think of the SBAM endorsements? Leave a comment below.


Automation Alley in Troy to host July 27 discussion of SBAM’s 2010 Entrepreneurship Score Card

Learn more about how Michigan stacks up against our competitor states in supporting and growing entrepreneurs by attending this July 27 program at Automation Alley in Troy. The Small Business Association of Michigan’s President and CEO Rob Fowler, along with Score Card author and entrepreneurship expert Mark Clevey, will discuss the results of the association’s sixth annual Entrepreneurship Score Card.


The event will take place from 1:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. at Automation Alley, 2675 Bellingham in Troy. There is no charge to attend. Register at Automation Alley's website.


In addition to discussing the Entrepreneurship Score Card, Fowler and Clevey will also talk about the Small Business Association of Michigan’s grow-from-within “Economic Gardening” economic development model and the association’s entrepreneurship-focused public policy agenda.


SBAM in the News: Economic gardening, paperwork issues in health care reform, social networking for small businesses

Crain’s Detroit Business has an article entitled “For economic development, SBAM wants state to help entrepreneurs, not woo out-of-state companies.” Excerpt:

“If you go out to Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs are heroes,” (SBAM Vice President Communications Michael Rogers) said. “At the turn of the century, we were the leader in innovation, and now we need to retool and refocus our (economic development) efforts to create a culture that rewards risk taking and entrepreneurial thinking that can lead to small-business growth.”Read the entire article here.

The Detroit News article “Marketers learning how to use sites like Facebook, Twitter” quotes SBAM as observing that “developing an effective social media strategy isn’t easy.” Read the article here.

Finally, SBAM board member David Rhoa, owner of Lake Michigan mailers in Kalamazoo, was featured on WWMT-TV3 in a report criticizing the new health care law’s onerous 1009 form provisions. View below:

Legislative Round-Up: Week of July 5th

Next Reform -- State Employee Retirement Bills?

U.S. Senate to Take Up Jobs Bill This Month

IRS Taking Comments on 1099 Reporting Issue

Next Reform--State Employee Retirement Bills?

In May when the legislature passed the school employee retirement bills, many in Lansing assumed that the early retirement bills for state employees would not be far behind.

However, that has not been the case.   Resistance from the state employee unions has been strong and the bills, which are estimated to save approximately $100 million have not been taken up in the Democrat controlled House.  The Senate passed the bills months ago, and Gov. Granholm not only supports the bills but announced the plan this past winter.

However, there have been two budget related events which may move these bills up on the priority list.  The first is that the current year budget is about $300 million in deficit because of lower than anticipated revenues.  The second is that the federal government has yet to pass the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentages that the states were counting on to cover some of their Medicaid expenses.  For Michigan this amounts to about $560 million dollars.  

This has brought more attention to potentially passing the state employee retirement bills.  Rumors circulated that the bills may have been brought up before the current legislative recess.  We will continue to press for these reforms.  While it is not expected that they will be taken up before the end of the month; we hope they can be passed into law before the end of the summer.

U.S. Senate to Take Up Jobs Bill This Month

The U.S. Senate introduced the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 early last week.  The bill contains various provisions that will benefit many small businesses.

Included in the bill are provisions that would:
  • provide for 100% exclusion of capital gains for small businesses,
  • create a small business lending fund, 
  • extend the bonus depreciation of 50% in the first year for qualifying purchases; 
  • and something that we’ve long sought, the ability of business owners to deduct the cost of health insurance for themselves and their families when calculating the self-employment tax.
While we are still reviewing various details of the bills, we believe that a number of these provisions will be beneficial.

Here is a summary of the bills that we received from our national affiliate the National Small Business Association.

IRS Taking Comments on 1099 Reporting Issue

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has formally invited public comment on how to most effectively carry out the law change that, starting in 2012, will require businesses to report a wider range of payments to contractors, vendors and others, on Form 1099.

According to the IRS, these comments will help the IRS issue guidance (later this summer) that implements this provision in a manner that minimizes burden and avoids duplicate reporting.

Under a proposed regulation, many business purchases made with credit or debit cards would be exempt from the new reporting requirement because they are already reported by banks and other payment processors. The IRS seeks comments on additional circumstances in which duplicate reporting might otherwise occur and on rules that would prevent such duplicate reporting.

The change, enacted in March through the health care reform law but not effective until 2012, expanded existing reporting requirements to include a busines