The 12 People Who Will Most Impact Your Small Business In 2024

Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy at the Federal Reserve (image)
Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy at the Federal Reserve, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

There are 12 people whose decisions will impact the profits and growth for many small businesses next year.  Keep a close eye on them. 

By Gene Marks – Read this article in its entirety HERE on The Hill’s website

Jerome Powell — chairman of the Federal Reserve 
(Honorable Mention: Janet Yellen, Treasury secretary) 

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As I write this, the national prime rate is now averaging about 8.5 percent, and many small-business owners like me are in the midst of re-financing loans that are coming due for working capital, property and equipment. But remember that prime is for the best customers. The interest rates our banks will charge are, for most small companies, a few points above prime, and that will have a significant impact not only on our ability to service any new debt but to raise capital for business growth. A cut in interest rates by the Federal Reserve will help to alleviate that problem. A new federal reserve ruling called the Basel III Framework, if enacted, may also have a significant impact on how banks lend to small businesses too. 

Danny Werfel — commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service 
(Honorable Mention: Janet Yellen) 

As the IRS, which is part of the Treasury Department and under Secretary Janet Yellen’s domain, begins to spend its $80 billion windfall from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, my clients — particularly “wealthier” business owners — are already bracing for more audits and an increased level of scrutiny on their business structures.   


Jason Smith (R-Mo.) — chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee 
(Honorable Mention: House Speaker Michael Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)) 

Provisions from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that impact small businesses have already begun to expire and more will come to an end after 2025, most significantly the Qualified Business Income Tax Deduction, which offers a tax deduction for small businesses that are “pass-through” entities such as S-corporations and partnerships. There’s been an increasing call for “tax extenders” to push these expiration dates further back, and we can expect this issue to become a priority over the next 12-24 months. 

Michael Johnson (R-La.) — House Speaker  
(Honorable Mention: Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) 

A government shutdown looms in January and rests in the hands of House Republicans. If no deal is reached and the shutdown persists for more than a few weeks, countless small businesses — from delicatessen owners that provide lunch to government workers to firms that contract with the government to business travelers seeking passports – will be impacted. 

Julie Su — acting secretary of Labor 
(Honorable Mention: Lauren McFerran, chairperson of the National Labor Relations Board) 

While not confirmed by the Senate, Su this year will oversee (and defend) the implementation of new rules governing overtime pay and worker classifications. These regulations, while sure to be contested by business groups, will increase our compensation costs and make it more difficult to use independent contractors

Read on…article continues HERE on The Hill’s website.

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