Small Business Continues to Lead Arizona – Arizona Small Business Association is the Leader 

by Jack Lunsford

Who creates the jobs in Arizona? Simple answer: Small businesses represent more than 99 percent of Arizona’s entire private-sector economy, with minority-owned businesses accounting for 25 percent of those businesses. And 88 percent of the state’s exporters are small businesses.

Small business employs almost 1,000,000 growth of 2015.

These figures come from the 2017 Arizona Small Business Profile published by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration. They demonstrate that small business drives Arizona’s private-sector economy and we must do all we can to preserve and protect them.

What does that mean? Keep taxes as low as possible; minimize regulations so as to not impede the ability of small businesses to grow and prosper; foster easier access to capital; and assure and provide an easily accessible, well-trained workforce through proper education and training programs so small businesses have the tools to continue to create more and better jobs.

None of this is news to the Arizona Small Business Association, where we celebrate and promote small business every day. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners, and even medium-sized businesses, want relevant, timely resources to help them grow their businesses. They need answers to their questions.

To provide more answers and assistance in 2017, ASBA is examining partnerships in ways that we haven’t done before, working to make services such as business planning, marketing, legal, financial planning, and other business resources more available to our members. As we define the new ASBA, these opportunities will be more apparent.

ASBA’s advocacy on behalf of small business is critical and is a key benefit for our small businesses. ASBA has been at the forefront of the creation of an Arizona crowd-funding platform, giving small businesses another tool in the toolbox to access capital. It took Rep. Jeff Weninger’s leadership in the Arizona House of Representatives to see this through, and we’re beginning to see the results of that effort.

Earlier this year, ASBA argued against the passage of Proposition 205 (Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act) and Proposition 206 (The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act). ASBA’s position on Prop 205 was based on the fact that there is no legal standard of impairment for marijuana, creating major liability issues for employers, especially small businesses who can’t afford the costs of litigation. No other organization focused on this provision as strongly as ASBA.

Regarding Prop 206, ASBA specifically argued against the provisions of mandatory accrued paid sick leave. Businesses are now obligated to pay this benefit when an employee leaves the job, whether voluntarily or through termination. Very few if any large businesses provide this benefit, although they can likely accrue and absorb the additional costs. Meanwhile, small businesses — many working on very small profit margins — will have a very difficult time managing these costs. The minimum wage increase became effective January 1st of this year, but the paid sick leave provision becomes effective July 1st. ASBA will be hosting an educational program to help small businesses plan for and deal with the effects of this new law.

No other group in Arizona specifically focuses on small business, something for which ASBA is most proud. Many leaders say Arizona is open for business, and ASBA says small business IS Arizona business.

That’s why we say the Arizona Small Business Association is THE VOICE of small business in Arizona, and we’ll continue to serve in that role.

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