Envolve USA & IssueVoter’s Small Business Voter Instagram Live Mini-Series

October 23, 2020 – Envolve USA partnered with IssueVoter for a week of Instagram Live programming to bring the entrepreneur community important information small business owners should know about the upcoming 2020 election and the major presidential candidates.

IssueVoter is a nonpartisan platform with a mission to give everyone a voice in our democracy by making civic engagement accessible, efficient and impactful. Their team compiled research directly from candidates and their campaign materials, including statements from campaign websites, public statements made by candidates, and campaign and party platforms. Supplemental information was drawn from government committees, think-tanks, and news sources covering the associated topics.

All presented information was delivered through a non-partisan lens and effectively through daily, digestible 15-minute Instagram Live sessions with our very own Program Manager, James Banks, and IssueVoter’s Founder, Maria Yuan, and Policy Analyst, Emma Joseph. Topics included Tax ReformFederal DeregulationLabor Laws, and Rebuilding the Small Business Economy post-COVID-19. The final day closed out the series with a Community Response by our Envolve USA team. In case you missed the live sessions, below are some highlights and additional resources:

Day 1: Tax Reform

Democratic Presidential Candidate, Joe Biden: He plans to support small businesses through policies that include tax credits for low to moderate income (LMI) communities–expanding opportunities for more generous loans and more programs that benefit Black, Indigneous and People of Color (BIPOC) business owners.

Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump: Building upon policies his administration has already set forth through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, he will continue to lower tax rates and expand opportunity zones to track investments to low-income communities.

Day 2: Federal Deregulation

Biden: He plans to increase the federal minimum wage and expand protections for unions. Biden also plans to expand the Occupational & Safety Health Administration (OSHA) in order to better enforce health and safety standards for workplaces. Biden supports the ProAct–which bans employers from requiring their employees to agree to mandatory individual arbitration and forcing employees to relinquish their right to class-action lawsuits or collective litigation.

Trump: According to his campaign, the Trump administration has issued 67 deregulatory actions while only opposing 3 new regulatory acts and has also removed 25,000 pages of job-destroying regulations. The majority of Trump’s target deregulations have been within the environmental sector, rolling back nearly 100 policies designed to protect the environment. Some of the changes include wildlife protection, limiting greenhouse gas standards for passenger cars and trucks, and weakening limits on carbon, coal, and gas fire emissions.

Day 3: Labor Laws

Biden: He plans to raise federal minimum wage to $15 and index median wage to the median hourly wage so that low-wage workers’ wages keep up with those of middle-income workers. Biden also advocates for increasing the overtime eligibility threshold to $913 per week (Trump’s administration has advocated for $679 per week). Biden also plans to strengthen unions, worker organizing, and collective bargaining.

Trump: He advocates for hands-off policies that reduce costs for some small-business owners. Trump also believes minimum wage should be handled at the state and local level. The Trump administration has expanded eligibility for over ten protections– increasing the eligibility threshold from about $23,000 to about $35,000 per year.

Day 4: Rebuilding the Small Business Economy post–COVID-19

Biden: He plans to expand public health measures by significantly expanding testing and contact tracing as well as expanding access to grants and loans for small businesses, while expediting the loan process for hard-hit businesses.

Trump: His approach continues to emphasize quickly re-opening businesses and developing a vaccine by the end of 2020. His campaign has stated that goals for his second term would be to create 1 million new small businesses and create 10 million new jobs in ten months.

Day 5: Community Response

Q: How do the candidates plan on supporting diverse and minority communities that have been severely impacted by COVID?

A: According to Biden’s campaign website, “to address the racial wealth gap, the opportunity gap, and the jobs gap for Black and Brown people, Biden will launch a historic effort to empower small business creation and expansion in economically disadvantaged areas – and particularly for Black-, Latino-, AAPI-, and Native American-owned businesses.” In addition to providing small businesses with an ambitious “restart package” to survive the current crisis and come out the other side strong, he is launching a special, ongoing initiative to empower these entrepreneurs to succeed and grow with a three-prong Small Business Opportunity Plan.

As for President Trump, he has outlined what he calls the Platinum Plan which aims to increase access to capital in Black communities by $500B, including efforts to Increase the number of Black owned contracting businesses, financial services entities, and private equity investment funds through regulatory reform and up to $40B in government funding alongside traditional private investment..”

Q: What is a pass-through business or income?

A: Most US businesses are taxed as pass-through (or flow-through) entities that, unlike C-corporations, are not subject to the corporate income tax or any other entity-level tax. Instead, their owners or members include their allocated shares of profits in taxable income under the individual income tax. Pass-through businesses include sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies and S-corporations.

Additional Resources:

**Envolve Entrepreneurship is a nonpartisan organization without party affiliation, bias, or designation. We advocate for an equitable entrepreneurship ecosystem where all business owners can prosper and grow.

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