Our Mission

The Small Business Association of Michigan is the only statewide and state-based association that focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community. We have been successfully serving small businesses like yours in all 83 counties of Michigan since 1969.  SBAM helps to give you and other small business owners a voice in the democratic process by connecting members with influential policymakers as well as working with member volunteers to develop and push public policy that we actually create.

SBAM’s legislative agenda is set by small business owners on both individual policy Task Forces as well as through our Legislative Action Council (LAC). This allows us to focus in on the candidates and issues that will best impact Michigan’s small business community.

Economic Development

Collectively, small businesses are Michigan’s largest job provider. SBAM supports an economic gardening approach to economic development – focusing on creating a great environment for businesses that are already here, rather than just attracting new businesses to come. Michigan should be the best place to start and grow a business regardless of size or industry.

  • Broaden the focus of state economic development beyond specific industries supporting more entrepreneurship.
  • Increase focus in developing economic development initiatives for second-stage, growing companies already located in Michigan.

Regulations

We acknowledge that there will always be regulations meant to provide a level playing field and for the protection of the state and its citizens. However, over-regulating stifles innovation, restricts growth and imposes a burden on small businesses. Business regulations that are enacted should be consistent and easy to comply with.

  • The government should not set or limit prices businesses can charge or control the benefits and wages agreed to between businesses and their employees.
  • New or amended rules or mandates should be handled through the normal law or rulemaking process, including public hearings. Additionally, changes should include and consider a cost-benefit analysis and detail the steps taken to reduce the impact on small businesses.

Education

For Michigan’s economy to thrive, our education system must prepare students for the marketplace. The education we provide should be focused on skills needed to compete in today’s economy while also providing a quality, well-rounded education.

  • Support educational programs that more closely match education to required job skills.
  • Increase accountability for completion rates and employ-ability of students.
  • Support a last-dollar in tuition-free community college program that is not tied to tax increases.
  • Promote programs such as Going Pro that award employers for assisting in training and developing newly hired employees.

Health Care

Steps must be taken to reduce the growing cost of health insurance. With the cost of providing health insurance becoming an increasing budget item for small businesses, government should look for innovative ways to help businesses control, not add to, the costs of employee health insurance.

  • Employee health care benefits should remain a negotiable issue between employee and employer.
  • Small businesses should be able to band together to create their own risk pools and organize under the same set of rules and laws that larger companies do.
  • Healthcare costs should be more transparent, allowing business owners and employees understand cost, quality, and options available.

Workforce Development

For Michigan to continue its economic progress, cooperation between business and labor is vital. Government should refrain from interfering in the relationship between employees and employers and workers should have the right to work where they choose without regulatory obstacles.

  • Oppose legislation that interferes with the at-will relationship between employees and employers.
  • Government rules surrounding the use of independent contractors should not hinder the ability of small businesses to do business in the manner that best suits them.
  • Employees should not be required to join or pay dues to any association or union as a condition of their employment.

Taxes

Taxes are necessary to fund government, however, unnecessarily high taxes stifle economic growth and activity. We must constantly assess the return on investment of tax dollars, as traditionally a dollar in the pocket of a business is used better than a dollar of tax revenue.

  • A broad-based tax system should be favored over a system that places an uneven burden on taxpayers depending on size, location or industry of the business.
  • Our systems of taxation should be simple, and easy to
    comply with.