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SBAM Policy Positions

SBAM is the voice of small business. 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.

Criminal Justice Reform

SBAM supports criminal justice reforms that identify and treat the core drivers or causes of criminal activities, including treatment and jail diversion when appropriate. SBAM also supports helping returning citizens to get back on their feet and reintegrate into the community by increasing employment opportunities. Such policies should not hinder or infringe upon a businesses’ pre-employment practices. Examples of these policies include support for:

  • Expanding eligibility for citizens to petition for expungement
  • Shortening the eligibility waiting period for expungement of misdemeanor offenses
  • Treatment and specialty courts, such as Drug Courts, Sobriety Courts, Mental Health Courts and Veteran Courts
  • Education and skills development for jail and prison inmates
  • Job placement services for returning citizens
  • Changing sentencing guidelines to include explicit incentives to encourage incarcerated individuals to participate in rehabilitative programing and stay free of violations while in the Corrections system.

Vaccines

Small business owners know best how to provide a safe environment for their employees and customers. Local, State, and Federal governments should refrain from implementing rules, laws, or guidelines that require business owners to collect or verify the vaccine status of employees or customers. Nor should governments at any level prevent business owners from verifying vaccine status if they feel it is necessary to their business operations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

COVID-19

The Small Business Association of Michigan strongly believes that in order to move forward during this COVID-19 pandemic, it should not be a question of IF small businesses can be open but HOW. SBAM advocated for clear guidance that allows for small businesses to operate in a manner that keeps both employees and members of the public safe.

Through our COVID-19 Task Force, SBAM worked to develop and drive a small business agenda.

Task Force Report