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Obama: Is He Helping Or Hurting Your Business?
ChannelWeb ^ | March 29, 2010 | Steven Burke

Posted on 04/17/2010 6:14:39 PM PDT by CutePuppy

Obama: Is He Helping Or Hurting Your Business?

Timothy Shea has been providing IT solutions for 21 years and has never worked as hard or felt as much economic pressure.

Shea, CEO and senior consultant at Alpha NetSolutions, a solution provider based in Marlborough, Mass., says his income as the owner of an "S" corporation that files a personal tax return has dropped 25 percent from 2007 to 2009. At the same time, the health-care costs for his eight-employee, $1.2 million business have doubled over the past three years.

Shea is one of many small-business solution providers interviewed for this cover story who feel that federal economic policies negatively affected business during that period. What's more, these solution providers say, looking ahead they don't see how the successful passage of President Barack Obama's landmark health-care reform bill, which Obama signed into law on March 23, will help.

Shea is one of tens of thousands of small-business IT solution providers in the U.S., working in a field that for decades has created almost unimaginable personal wealth and countless jobs. But over the past year, many of these businesses have closed their doors and many more are struggling in the midst of what by all accounts is the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Research from CRN parent Everything Channel shows that after reaching a high of 250,000 in 2007, the number of solution provider businesses in the North American market dropped to 200,000 in 2009 as IT spending declined. Most of the solution providers that closed up shop generated less than $1 million in annual revenue.

And the squeeze is continuing.

Everything Channel's Institute for Partner Education & Development, which provides channel research, consulting and education, reveals that the number of solution providers rated as "in trouble" based on net income data jumped to 9.3 percent in 2010 from 5.8 percent in 2009. .....

Through all of this, many small-business solution provider owners feel that Obama has showed little understanding of the economic forces battering their businesses -- and is showing little fiscal restraint as they themselves are cutting back and pinching pennies to stay afloat. .....

Next: Much Ado About Health Care

Many of the small-business solution providers interviewed for this story give credit to Obama for attempting to address the rising costs of health care. But they just don't see how the new health-care reform law -- which provides coverage to 32 million uninsured Americans at a cost to the government of an estimated $938 billion over 10 years -- will help their businesses. They say it does not address the underlying issues driving up health-care costs, even though the legislation provides a tax credit to small businesses with fewer than 25 workers for purchasing health-care coverage.

"I can't imagine how much worse health care can get for small businesses than it is now," said Shea, who calls himself a moderate conservative. "Unfortunately I'm afraid I'm about to find out how much worse it can get." .....

They point instead to the latest posting from the Treasury Department showing that the national debt has increased more than $2 trillion since Obama took office. And even though Obama has said that government cannot continue to spend as if deficits do not matter, he has proposed in the fiscal year 2011 budget to add $8.5 trillion in debt over the next decade. .....

However, Gregg Pickens, president and owner of Digital Dot Systems, a $1 million solution provider with four employees, believes that government legislating health care is not the answer. He says that in 10 years of running his business, 2009 was his worst year ever, with his income down 40 percent.

Pickens' advice to Obama: "You need to focus on getting the economy moving so businesses are healthy and people are put back to work. I don't care how affordable he makes health care. If you don't have a job you can't afford it.

"Uncertainty and unemployment are the biggest issues," said Pickens, a self-proclaimed fairly conservative Republican. "If we don't have clients growing themselves, then we don't grow."

These solution providers say they are looking for tax relief as they try to come to grips with higher taxes and even higher services fees in lieu of taxes. Add to all this the fact that some state Departments of Revenue are now closely scrutinizing whether managed services, the healthiest part of the IT solution provider business, should be taxed.

At the same time he has bet big on health-care reform, Obama has also pressed to eliminate tax breaks from former President George W. Bush due to expire at the end of this year. .....

"My taxes are going up under Obama," said one solution provider owner who did not want to be identified. "I'm not a fan of anyone who wants to raise taxes and spend their way out of problems." Citing the budget deficit, the business owner said: "Spending $1.4 trillion when you don't have it never made anything better. We are now one of the largest debtor nations in the world.

"As individuals, if we ran our household budgets the way the country is run, we would all be bankrupt," added the CEO. "Every damn one of us. We are a country of individuals where for the most part the vast majority of us are fiscally responsible. But we have to fund a government that has forgotten what fiscal responsibility is."

The CEO said that eliminating tax breaks for those making more than $250,000 hurts small businesses like his own.

"The net income from your balance sheet flows through to your taxes," he said. "And don't confuse cash with net income. They are two entirely different things. My income stayed the same last year but my taxable income went up 5 percent."

Digital Dot Systems' Pickens says the problem is most government officials don't understand the pressure facing a small business.

"I don't think they understand the dynamics of what it is like to run a business," he said. "They are lawyers and career politicians. To them, profits are something to be taxed." .....

The Credit Squeeze

Small-business solution providers are also dealing with a credit noose that has tightened around their neck.

Berzack sums up the feelings of many solution providers: "In 2003 to get $100,000 of credit just required a signature. Now I think it requires a 100-page application including the blood type of my children." .....

"Obama and the administration are talking about all the solutions they are putting in place to help the small business and all we are seeing is banks not lending, and vendors scrutinizing credit lines to the point where if you are one day past 30-day terms they hold up your order," he said. .....

A Touch Of Optimism?

Shea, however, is optimistic that his business prospects are improving in 2010 with his sales potentially increasing as much as 40 percent despite anything President Obama does or does not do. That said, he points out that when he started his first business President Ronald Reagan was grappling with a recession and there was a different feeling in the country.

"The difference is at that time no one had any doubt we were going to get out of it pretty quickly," he said. "Now it's an unknown." Shea said he has not been politically active given that he is working 70-hour-plus weeks trying to keep his business going.

"Everything that has happened with Obama and health care has me rethinking that," he said. "There are many small-business owners like me working 70 hours a week. We barely have time to keep up with business. With what is going on in this country maybe it is time for all of us to get up and get involved."

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: biggovernment; budgetdeficit; business; classwarfare; deathpanels; deficit; demcare; democrat; democrats; dismantlingcountry; dismantlingeconomy; dismantlingheritage; downfallofasociety; economy; funwithnumbers; govhealthcare; hurtingsmallbusiness; impeachobama; marxism; obama; obamacare; obamaeconomy; smallbusiness; socialism; socializedhealthcare; socializedmedicine; spreadingthewealth; tax; taxdollars; taxes; taxingtherich; wreckinghealthcare; yourtaxdollars
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Emphasis mine. Excerpted the article because it's long, but well worth reading. Interesting change of attitude regarding political involvement by people who were formerly apolitical or too busy with their work or lives to get involved.

Now they feel that they have to get involved or lose financially as well as freedoms that they still have.

Article also shows how strong and robust our recovery would be were it not for huge new entitlements, deficit spending, taxes, fees and regulations and consequent economic and business uncertainty. In other words, the Obama factor / OPRAH factor (Obama Pelosi Reid and Hoyer).

1 posted on 04/17/2010 6:14:39 PM PDT by CutePuppy
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To: CutePuppy

Barry Soetoro is an incompetent narcissistic douche bag.

2 posted on 04/17/2010 6:21:12 PM PDT by VRWC For Truth (Throw the bums out who vote yes on the bail out)
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To: CutePuppy

Of course, he is hurting business. It’s deliberate. He wants to ruin the private sector so that he and his cohorts can blame the demise of business on the “greedy rich” and then they can just take over. They want to control everything. They want the power.

3 posted on 04/17/2010 6:21:49 PM PDT by fatnotlazy ("You ain't seen nothin' yet." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: CutePuppy

The real force and weight of the nightmare is about to come crashing back to Earth.

First signs of it will be once the true cost becomes apparent to the small businesses and they readjust accordingly.

The final blow will be once the law kicks in and mandates that the states set up those insurance exchanges. The feds are only footing the bill to set them up then they become a federally unfunded mandate where the states will have to foot the bill.

Many states have balanced budget amendments and laws that require them to spend only what they take in.

It will be a nightmare the size and scope of which no one has ever seen.

Your taxes will go up on the federal level, possibly a nationwide VAT. Then comes he state tax increases to compensate for the huge amount of money needed to fund these exchanges.

4 posted on 04/17/2010 6:21:52 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
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To: CutePuppy; a fool in paradise

My girls get more johns than they can handle, thank you!

5 posted on 04/17/2010 6:25:08 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: CutePuppy

"Is Obama helping or hurting your business" is like asking if the new TSA procedures are helping or hurting airport efficiency.

6 posted on 04/17/2010 6:26:21 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
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To: CutePuppy

If one is a private MD, extinction of medical practice will occur within 4 years...and most will not wait for the hanging.

7 posted on 04/17/2010 6:26:22 PM PDT by givemELL (Does Taiwan eet the Criteria to Qualify as an "Overseas Territory of the United States"? by Richar)
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To: fatnotlazy
That's it. Not too sure those interviewed understand that w/quotes like this...

"I don't think they understand the dynamics of what it is like to run a business," he said. "They are lawyers and career politicians.

While he's right, IMO, he's giving them cover unknowingly. The point is they don't care - it's all about their commie agenda and bringing America down. Can't deny that - it's happening.
8 posted on 04/17/2010 6:29:46 PM PDT by presently no screen name ( Repeal ZeroCare!)
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To: CutePuppy
Is Obama hurting business?

9 posted on 04/17/2010 6:30:06 PM PDT by MuttTheHoople (
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To: CutePuppy

He’s hurting mine. For Q1 2010, total receipts were 10% of normal.

Ten percent of normal.

Hurting doesn’t even begin to describe it.

10 posted on 04/17/2010 6:32:58 PM PDT by savedbygrace (You are only leading if people follow. Otherwise, you just wandered off.)
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To: MuttTheHoople

If you manufacture firearms or ammunition,
you’re in about the only private business
that 0bama is “helping”.

11 posted on 04/17/2010 6:33:03 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: CutePuppy
My little IT company resembles the one described in the article, but I've got to say that we're doing the best business we've done in 25 years (including the days).

I attribute it either to many of our competitors going out of business or possibly me becoming more paranoid about the economy and marketing smarter.

Some of my customers, also in the IT business, are seeing unexpected surges.

Maybe it's the investor-fueled IT businesses that are experiencing difficulties(?)

12 posted on 04/17/2010 6:35:25 PM PDT by The Duke
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To: MrB
If you manufacture firearms or ammunition, you’re in about the only private business that 0bama is “helping”.

I work in the firearms industry, and this is true. We are having a record year.

13 posted on 04/17/2010 6:37:46 PM PDT by Disambiguator (Progressivism, Socialism, Marxism, Communism - it's all shades of black.)
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To: The Duke

According to the WSJ, IT businesses are having a boom time. I don’t know why this would be, except perhaps that they and their technologies are more international or are linked to international businesses, so they are being pulled up by demand outside the US or the effects of that demand.

14 posted on 04/17/2010 6:41:01 PM PDT by livius
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To: The Duke
Full article does address exactly this aspect - depends on the nature or a mix of company's IT products or services:

And as you said, fewer remaining businesses share in either the surge of capex or compete for increased demand in services.

15 posted on 04/17/2010 6:46:33 PM PDT by CutePuppy (If you don't ask the right questions you may not get the right answers)
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To: CutePuppy

I am in one of the very few that are starting to benefit from the “Zero”. The Democrats are driving up crime and I work in the security business.

Until Zero we really had to work to make sales, now the people come to us ready to buy something, anything to protect their family from the increasing violence/crime. Selling has become increasingly easier each month.

About 95% of working folks do not share my luck however. God bless you all.

16 posted on 04/17/2010 6:51:20 PM PDT by fuzzybutt
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To: CutePuppy

Barry is helping my business. I am a tax accountant.

17 posted on 04/17/2010 6:52:56 PM PDT by Busywhiskers ("Once you have wrestled, everything else in life is easy" -Dan Gable)
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To: Busywhiskers

Killing my business which is a small 7-person software company selling to retailers.

18 posted on 04/17/2010 6:56:07 PM PDT by Free America52 (The White guys are getting pissed off. We beat Hitler Hirohito and Krushchev. Obama will be easy.)
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To: Busywhiskers

One of my best friends is an accountant and he is making great money this year.

19 posted on 04/17/2010 6:57:11 PM PDT by fuzzybutt
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To: The Duke

My guess for the uptick would be companies that downsized staff and slashed budgets last year are now looking to get some projects moving and don’t have the staff to do it. They’re not confident of a recovery so they are putting off hiring support staff but can’t continue to put off needed work.

20 posted on 04/17/2010 8:25:25 PM PDT by eggman (Grab a mop Mr. Gibbs! Your boss is making another mess.)
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