NASE on Micro-Business

Archive for January 2009

In case you didn’t catch it on Twitter, I braved a rare display of the elements in Washington this morning to attend the first IRS Small Business Forum of the year.  (If you want to start following me, or other NASE staff on Twitter, click here.)  The bi-monthly forums are put on by the IRS and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and many trade groups and associations like the NASE attend to hear the latest news and give input to the IRS on how policies and programs affect small businesses and the self-employed.

One of the stated goals expressed in today’s forum was increased communication with taxpayers by the IRS, especially in light of the slow economy.  Chris Wagner, the Commissioner of the Small Business /Self-Employed Division, stressed that the IRS is there to help, and “they know your interactions with the IRS may be different than in the past,” but they are working to be flexible. 

Nina Olson, of the National Taxpayer Advocate, came out strongly in favor of eliminating tax law complexity in the office’s annual report to Congress.  Olson shared with us some of the “fun with facts” that went into this year’s report, for example that since she started with the NTA in 2001 there have been 3,250 changes to the tax code, which is an average of 1 change per day.  She also said that according to the “word count” function in Microsoft Word, the internal revenue code has 3.7 million words in it, meaning the number of words in the code has tripled since 1975 (yikes!). 

And that reminds me that filing season is officially under way.  Although I’m glad I don’t have to read the entire tax code to file my taxes!  At least, I don’t think I do…

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According to this article in BusinessWeek, despite the economic downturn, many community banks are reporting an increase in loans and credit lines to small businesses. Community banks are generally defined as banks with less than $10 billion in assets. 

In a recent meeting on promoting economic recovery before the House Committee on Small Business, Paul Merski of the Independent Community Bankers of America testified “that community banks make 20% of all small-business loans, even though they represent only about 12% of all bank assets. Furthermore, he said that about 50% of all small-business loans under $100,000 are made by community banks.”

Have you or other small business owners you know had success in getting loans from community banks recently?  Share any stories or tips in the comments!

It’s exciting, but an awful lot of work!

The NASE is starting groups on Linked In ( and FaceBook (not ready to post the link yet!) and getting this blog started, and setting up Twitter accounts (follow me – maureenpetron). And it’s fun and exciting stuff. But, man!, does it take a lot of work to create!

Hoping it’ll all be worth it, and our hunch that NASE Members and micro-business owners like yourself will want to network with each other and the association. So what are you waiting for?! Join us!

I totally love being self employed.  My co-workers and I just spent several hours working on the details for seminars in nine cities over two weeks solely to help micro business owners.  Its one of those things that will be really exhausting but I know we are making a real difference and that feels good.  Its Saturday and we are working.  Just like every micro business owner that we are trying to help.  Saturday is just another work day.  Love being self employed.

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January 2009
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