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Colorado lawmakers let small businesses down by failing to pass paid leave, retirement measures

Colorado Springs Business Journal
Family Medical Leave Insurance, Retirement Security

Colorado lawmakers had an opportunity during the 2018 legislative session to really help level the playing field for the state’s small businesses by passing bills that would have established a paid family and medical leave insurance program as well as a publicly administered retirement savings program for private-sector workers. Yet for the second year in a row both bills passed the House of Representatives before dying in the Senate, leaving small businesses to wonder if they will ever get the help they need to attract and retain talented employees.

Without federal leadership, states must safeguard ACA markets

The Hill

Although the Trump administration and its allies failed to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last year, they took a number of smaller steps that added up to a big problem: The ACA is now weaker.

Unfortunately, the administration is still seeking to undermine the health-care law, moving forward with proposals that would expand association health plans (AHPs) and short-term insurance plans, both of which have the potential to limit the ability of state insurance commissioners to regulate health plans and cause premiums to rise.

Senate Vote to Restore Net Neutrality Seen as Win for Small Businesses


The U.S. Senate acted in the best interests of small businesses when it voted Wednesday to restore net neutrality rules, said John Arensmeyer, chief executive of the Small Business Majority.

"Without protections in place to keep the internet fair and open, small businesses will be put at a disadvantage when trying to compete with larger corporations that have the resources to ensure their websites receive special prioritization from their internet service providers," Arensmeyer said of Wednesday's vote.

Illinois Launches Automatic IRA Pilot Program for Private Sector

Bloomberg Law
Retirement Security

· Illinois’ state-run retirement program for private sector second in the U.S. to go live

· Employer group weighing challenge to program under federal employee benefits law

· After completion of pilot, next phase slated for November

Illinois is launching on May 15 the first phase of a program designed to get more than a million private sector workers in the state saving for retirement.

As Illinois rolls out its secure choice retirement savings program, it follows in the footsteps of Oregon, the first state with a program requiring employers to either offer...

Ballet Instructor Teaches Underserved Communities in Chicago

NBC 5 Chicago News at 11 AM [WMAQ-TV]
Access to Capital

A world famous ballet instructor wants to make ballet accessible to all, including underserved communities in Chicago. Madame Boitsov worked with Greater Southwest Develop. Corp. to develop a business plan and become loan ready, and was then directed to SimpleGrowth where she received a loan through Accion.

Internet Giants And Small Business Owners Declare 'Red Alert' On Net Neutrality


The campaign has also received support from a range of small-business groups and platforms, including the American Sustainable Business Council, Engine Advocacy, Patreon, Etsy, Main Street Alliance, Good Business Colorado, and Small Business Majority. Internet-savvy nonprofit and social justice organizations such as Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Color of Change are also behind the push.

Paid Leave Is A Competitive Advantage For Small Businesses

Family Medical Leave Insurance

With the exception of a few states and cities, like it or not, in the United States, “the onus is on the businesses to figure out a solution to paid leave,” said Heather Whaling, president at Geben Communication, a PR firm based in Columbus, Ohio.

She is a vocal advocate for paid parental leave and developed a crowdsourced resource for companies wanting to #RewriteTheRules by providing paid leave. Companies with policies are encouraged to add theirs to the database so they can inspire others and provide practical insights into how they did it.

Small Businesss Praise Senators Markey’s and Schumer’s Action to Preserve Net Neutrality


The American Sustainable Business Council, Engine, Main Street Alliance, Small Business Majority, Etsy, and others are releasing a co-sponsored business sign-on statement that has collected nearly 6,000 signatures of support of the Senate action to restore net neutrality. Additionally, ASBC, MSA, SBM are releasing a separate letter in support of net neutrality signed by nearly 250 member businesses.

Scientific polling commissioned by Small Business Majority found that 56% of small business owners oppose the FCC’s 2017 repeal of its 2015 Open Internet Order that established net...

Protecting Small Business from Predatory Lending

Black Enterprise
Access to Capital

Predatory lending costs American borrowers an eye-popping $25 billion a year, according to estimates from the Center for Responsible Lending.
Given that finding, small wonder that a new poll by the advocacy group Small Business Majority shows small businesses support measures that would help shield them from predatory lending practices.

Mornings with Mike Winters

KEND 106.5
Rural Entrepreneurship

One of our partners is discussing rural roundtable event in Roswell, NM on May 11. Tune in from 2:29.26 through 2:37.18.

The National Fight for Paid Leave Has Moved to Statehouses

Family Medical Leave Insurance

Support for the state’s paid leave bill now includes more business associations, such as Good Business Colorado and Small Business Majority, and the support network has widened to include pediatricians, nurses, OB-GYNs, and the state’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

State legislators also face different opposition to paid family leave laws than federal legislators do. Chun-Hoon points to the outsized role of corporate lobbyists in federal legislation. While they play a role at the state level too, many business owners support a paid leave plan funded by an insurance pool,...

Paying fast-food workers higher wage can boost economy

Pamplin Media Group Online
Access to Capital, Workforce Issues

Small-business advocacy groups like the Main Street Alliance, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and Small Business Majority are pushing those owners' messages in Washington. Some have published polls showing the strong support for the legislation, while others have gathered signatures from employers in favor of raising the minimum wage. If these small-business advocacy groups support raising the minimum wage, then that means they see the benefits of doing so.

Thousands Of Small Businesses Call On Congress To Pass CRA Resolution To Restore Net Neutrality

Biz New Orleans
Government Accountability

The nationwide push is supported by a range of groups representing startups and small businesses including the American Sustainable Business Council, Etsy, Patreon, Engine Advocacy, Main Street Alliance, Good Business Colorado, and Small Business Majority, along with groups like Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, and Color of Change.

Strike 4 for Colorado paid family leave measure

colorado politics
Family Medical Leave Insurance

Here’s what Hunter Railey, Colorado outreach manager for Small Business Majority, told the Business Journal:

“Many small business owners believe that paid family and medical leave isn’t just the right thing to do but it makes business sense. HB 1001 will benefit businesses by lowering turnover, reducing costs and boosting morale.”

America's Family Paid Leave Policy Needs to Change

Before It's News
Family Medical Leave Insurance

Some of the most exciting moves towards family leave policies have come from businesses. Erik Rettig of Small Business Majority points out that 85% of his member companies support paid family leave. Small businesses tend to be like families, he explains – they don’t want to lose employees that they have personal relationships with and have spent time training. But he notes that small businesses, individually, have little political power. As advocates, we should be targeting chambers of commerce, business leagues and other groups that can influence at scale.

National Small Business Week 2018 Kicks Off This Weekend

PR Newswire

Every year, National Small Business Week is made possible thanks in part to the support of cosponsors. Our Gold, Silver, Bronze and Supporting level sponsors have provided the resources to make this recognition week possible.

Small Businesses Plan Massive Push for Net Neutrality Ahead of Senate CRA Vote

Common Dreams

Thousands of small businesses, ranging from construction companies to tech startups are planning to deliver an open letter to Congress on Wednesday, May 2nd calling on lawmakers to support the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to block the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.

The nationwide deliveries are supported by a range of groups representing startups and small businesses including the American Sustainable Business Council, Engine Advocacy, Main Street Alliance, Good Business Colorado, and Small Business Majority, along with digital rights nonprofit Fight for the Future....

Why Big Business Supports Gay and Transgender Rights

D Magazine
LGBT Nondiscrimination

While a majority of small business owners surveyed say they believe businesses should not be able to deny goods or services to LGBT customers because of religious objections, more than one out of four—28 percent—say that discrimination should be permissible, according to a survey by the group Small Business Majority.

Medicaid Expansion Will Boost Virginia’s Small Businesses, Economy


The Virginia House of Delegates extended a helping hand to small businesses when it voted today in favor of expanding the state’s Medicaid program because doing so would level the playing field for small businesses, create a healthier and more productive workforce and pump additional money into the state economy.

Medicaid expansion in Virginia is estimated to extend coverage to an additional 400,000 people, many of whom are low-wage working adults. Since so many more working adults would qualify for Medicaid, small businesses that cannot afford to offer their employees health...

Paid family leave legislation would level the playing field for Colorado’s small businesses

Colorado Politics
Family Medical Leave Insurance

The Family Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) is currently advancing through the Colorado General Assembly, and that’s great news for the state’s 570,000 small businesses because this measure would benefit small firms by lowering turnover, boosting productivity and enhancing employee morale.

The FAMLI Act would provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year to bond with a new child or take care of an ill relative. Many small employers like this program in part because it wouldn’t cost them any money — the program would be funded through a modest income tax on...