Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Each day, we bring you stories that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Ready to hire your first employee? An Oregon senator wants to create tax breaks to help you expand. Meanwhile, over in Japan, employers are finding the benefits of a shorter work week. And if big corporations are threatening your business, stand out by embracing your size!
Proposed ‘Progress Act’ offers tax credit for hiring employe #1
A senator from Oregon has introduced new legislation to benefit small companies that are ready to take a big step and hire their first employee. The Progress Act is intended to help entrepreneurs create jobs rather than providing a tax incentive for investing in property or hard assets. This has the secondary benefit of helping women who often start businesses in the service industry and don’t rely on heavy machinery.
The Number: 25%. The Progress Act offers tax incentives for hiring a first employee, including a tax up to 25% of the W-2 wages up to $10,000 per year.
The Quote: “The heart of the bill is to create that incentive to hire the first employee and to create incentives for capital investment (in small businesses) for others.”
4-day work week boosts productivity by 40% … in Japan
If you want to increase worker productivity, consider paying then the same amount while reducing their hours. A 4-day work week pilot program at Microsoft Japan found that workers were 40% more productive working a reduced schedule. Reducing the length of the work week also had the benefit of shortening the length of meetings, reducing energy consumption and increasing employee engagement and morale.
The Number: 23%. Electricity costs fell by 23% and workers printed 60% fewer pages by taking off Fridays in August.
The Quote: “At the heart of the discussion of workplace burnout and schedule flexibility is technology. The same electronic tools that have made working from home easier than ever have also made it harder for employees to fully unplug from their jobs when they aren’t in the office.”
Big corporations don’t have to spell the end of small business
For many SMBs, big corporations pose a very real threat to their existence. Surviving in the current business environment means standing out as an alternative to big business and capitalizing on American attitudes toward entrepreneurship and the little guy.
The Number: 70%. Small Businesses occupy an important place in Americans’ hearts. 70% report that they have a great deal of confidence in small businesses, compared to the 21% who report that they have confidence in big companies.
The Quote: “As American business moves toward bigness, fueled by a variety of economic and practical forces, the consumer, at least in theory, has a strong predilection to favor smallness. This creates what would appear to be an opportunity for small business — and an essential dilemma for very large business-to-consumer enterprises.”