Business leaders: Federal tax changes mean potential opportunities in 2018
The San Diego Union-Tribune
January 3, 2018
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
The uncertainty of how new federal tax cuts will impact the area’s businesses and their customers is of utmost concern for 2018, according to local business leaders.
Despite the uncertainty, they are expressing an optimistic take on the changes, see this as a time for business owners to capitalize on financial opportunities and are planning programs to help their members make adjustments throughout the year.
“While I am optimistic about 2018, it will not be without its challenges,” said Business Association President Debbie Kurth. “Although, the federal tax reform package and repeal of many federal regulations will take a while to sort out the implications, it should be seen as a positive for both taxpayers and the business community. Rancho Bernardo
“With the stock market at an all-time high and consumer confidence on the rise, these are good indicators for business growth,” she said. “It is my hope that members of the Rancho Bernardo Business Association will also benefit.
“The RBBA caters to local small business owners and is excited to be a part of this expected rejuvenation,” Kurth said. “We give owners an opportunity to network at our monthly receptions and to promote their business locally to fellow members and residents on a weekly basis.
“The future looks bright even though we are uncertain of what will unfold and I remain very positive,” Kurth said.
“While 2017 has been a good year, North San Diego Business Chamber is starting to see some uncertainty in the business climate as we approach 2018,” said NSDBC President and CEO Debra Rosen. “In preparation of the unknown, we have been reviewing and preparing our resources and programs to stay relevant to member needs. “These last few years have been good for many as the economy has thrived, but it is time to move out of the comfort zone and start challenging ourselves to do things differently in preparation for possible changes in the business climate,” she said.
“With minimum wage going up in January and other legislation that has passed in 2017, the small business community has its challenges and the chamber continues to promote the support of local business,” Rosen said. “(Small businesses) support our communities and it is critical we continue to support them so neighborhoods stay vibrant.”
She added, “Technology is changing faster than human behavior and we find many companies are having to update their systems and find new ways to compete with consumers purchasing of goods and services. Some businesses are looking at making short-term changes to stay competitive, but it is the long-term change that will keep them sustainable and in business.”
Regarding advice for the coming year, Rosen said the key is for businesses to diversify their programs and services, and stay relevant to their customers. To help chamber members with this, the regional organization will be focused on implementing programs and benefits that are relevant to 75 percent or more of its members, “always keeping in mind the progressive way in which we include members in chamber meetings and (dialogue).”
Rosen added, “The new tax reform may have some strong consequences for consumers that will impact their spending, which trickles down to business. The chamber will be leading discussions on this topic throughout the year and making sure that all businesses are knowledgeable on what the new laws mean ... to business and consumers.”
“The Chamber of Commerce works diligently to build an effective business association that will strengthen the local economy,” said Lynn Wolsey, the chamber’s marketing and special events coordinator. “We have built a new website to better showcase our member businesses and the communities we serve, have partnered with Mention My Biz to promote the brand new ShopPoway.com program, and are currently revamping and adding to our member services to provide educational opportunities for our member businesses that will enable them to stay competitive in today’s aggressive business climate.” Poway
Wolsey said chamber officials are looking forward to seeing what changes the new tax codes will bring to the region in terms of increased business investment and hiring, and how individual tax cuts will affect the quality of life for the average worker. “We are launching a new program in partnership with the Poway Unified School District to provide workforce training that will benefit area businesses, making it possible to fill vacant positions with workers who have the skills required by today’s employers,” she said. “This program will primarily target the growing number of technology-based businesses in our region.”
Wolsey also said the Poway chamber will continue to advocate for local businesses plus monitor and provide input to the city regarding the Poway Road Corridor since it will have a significant impact on businesses along Poway Road.