May 18 2010

C’mon Congress, EARN YOUR KEEP!

Could Your Family


Or Business 


Get To 2011 Without


A Budget?


So what makes Congress think America doesn’t need one?


     We The People — the business owners and operators and managers and entrepreneurs and sales professionals — of the United States of America need to vent!

     We would like to understand how it could be possible that you, the Congressional Representatives of the geographic districts that our business interests occupy, are at the doorstep of foregoing a national budget this year. PLEASE explain.

     For the benefit of those not yet up to speed on this issue because you’ve been struggling with your own budgets, The Hill newspaper has just proclaimed that Congress may fail to even try to pass a budget this year because the Congressional majority claims that “they’ve pushed too many tough votes through the House to force another one before Election Day.”

     Rarely do I have much good to report coming out of organizations like the SBA, the BBB, the NFIB, or the C of C, but I just saw a copy of a letter from US Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Bill Miller that deserves three cheers from all of us. He challenges that feeble excuse quoted in The Hill with the following:

Tough votes? You mean like bending the rules and twisting arms to pass a flawed healthcare bill that America doesn’t want and can’t afford?

Or like rushing a vote on a financial overhaul bill that would create one of the largest bureaucracies in American history?

Giving up the budget process is their choice. It’s politics, plain and simple. And we deserve better… if Congress fails to pass a budget, it will show that it is simply unable to govern

… No budget equals failure. And right now, that’s something our country, our workers, and our employers cannot afford.” 

     How is it even possible that ANYone, even a politician, could imagine a budget-less organization — let alone a national government– being able to arrogantly continue charging forward while sinking deeper into the depths of economic quicksand?

     With continuing misplaced priorities and increases in frivolous federal spending, we — the business owners and operators and managers and entrepreneurs and sales professionals — are being driven aimlessly into the face of an all-powerful global economic storm… and not even a budget on the horizon?

     How would our own businesses do with no sense of financial direction or planning? One need not be a rocket scientist to see that our national and state economies are on shaky (to say the least!) ground in the midst of turbulent times.

     Yet we have elected politicians who have no business skills,  knowledge or experience, no sense of how to turn this mess around. All of us with small businesses already know that more spending of more money we don’t have, with no plan, is not going to do it!

     The only answer is:  A) To push members of Congress (with emails, letters and calls) to do the jobs our tax dollars are paying them to do and pass a budget we can afford, then B) VOTE THEM OUT IN NOVEMBER before they destroy all of our businesses.  

Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! God Bless America, and God Bless our troops “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

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Dec 03 2008

Small Business Rocks (when it’s not too busy dancing solo!)

Every business


 has a responsibility 


to those who support, 


patronize, and service it. 


     I just heard a great radio commercial about two competitive antique stores right near each other that urged listeners to visit both places!  Can you imagine? 

     Do the businesses in your town cooperate and help one another, or do they seem to be out for themselves?  Is business cooperation real or just given lip service?

     Local business organizations seem to breed more in-fighting and one-upmanship games than genuine teamwork efforts to support the growth of area business.  One exception appears to be the Market Street “arts” or “creative” district undergoing major revitalization in downtown Wilmington, Delaware.

     Unfortunately, however, business teamwork face-liftings like this are rarely the norm.  “There’s always a small band of energetic active members,” reports one frustrated chamber of commerce leader I spoke with recently, “but they can never seem to put a fire under the others — the majority.  Our more aggressive businesspeople end up going under, over, or around the rest of our membership.  Our efforts are not nearly as representative of the town’s businesses as we like to think they are.”  

     One Virginia merchant chatted freely about her refusal to be involved because, she says, “All these organizations are the same: they collect dues, fees, subscriptions, and donations and either do nothing to promote business in town because they can’t agree on what to do, or they do things that benefit only a few businesses — the most active, or the biggest (which of course pay the highest amounts).”  

     “She’s right,” chimed in a neighboring business owner who happened by.  “Or, the other extreme is that whenever one of these so-called business organizations ends up doing something, it gets so completely screwed up because it ends up being done in such an unbusinesslike manner.  It’s embarassing!”  Hmmmmm.  Y’think?

     A New Jersey retailer/friend said, “Every year, I get membership sales pitch calls from the local chamber of commerce, the county chamber of commerce, the state chamber of commerce, the national chamber of commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Small Business Administration, the local merchants’ association, the Better Business Bureau, you name it!  If I could afford all these memberships, I’d be making so much money I wouldn’t need their help!”

     Add to this list, solicitations from youth and senior groups; athletic teams; health and education  programs; charitable organizations; community food banks; fire and police departments; EMT and first aid squads; state police; high school and college organizations, and on and on. 

     Every one most certainly a worthy cause.  It’s simply that running a financially successful-enough business to be able to afford to help all these fine folks when they come knocking at the door becomes increasingly difficult if not impossible.

     The best way to avoid the upset feelings that accompany making (or not being able to make) these kinds of contributions is to be sure to budget them in as a normal cost of doing business, to stick with what you’ve bugeted (and tell unexpected solicitors you’ll consider them for next year’s budget, or simply include a contingency fund in your budgeting for “emergency” situations). 

     Of course it’s also worth remembering that the vast majority of these causes is tax-deductible, and –most importantly– that every business has a responsibility to the community that supports and services it, and to the support services in that community!

     As for building more cooperative and more supportive attitutes between neighboring businesses, tune in tomorrow!   halalpiar   

# # #

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