NSBA’s White House Briefing

June 25, 2014

pic-whitehouseAs part of the annual Small Business Washington Presentation, attendees were invited to the White House complex for briefings on key issues by senior Administration officials. Coordinated by the White House Business Council, key topics included small-business retirement savings, lending and finance issues, transportation infrastructure, and the current economic climate.

The Treasury Department’s Cynthia Egan talked about the basic framework of the President’s myRA proposal. The myRA plan is designed to allow employees without other access to an employer-based retirement plan—401(k), SEP, etc.—to make contributions to a Roth-style retirement savings vehicle via payroll reduction. Egan described the basic outline of the plan: both employee and employer participation would be voluntary; there would be no fees for either employees or employers; only employees could make contributions; and there would be no account for employers to administer, though they would be responsible for the payroll processing of the contribution.

Jason Miller currently serves as the Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. After a description of the current economic and fiscal climate, Miller spoke specifically about the financing difficulties that small businesses continue to face. He said that supply chain issues often create cash-flow difficulties for small companies that do not receive prompt payment from customers, but are required remit payment to their own vendors on very short time frames. Miller said that correcting the crunch these companies face could greatly enhance the efficiency of our capital flow and dramatically improve the ability of many small companies to hire and expand.

Finally Byron Auguste, also on the staff of the National Economic Council, briefed attendees on the centrality of our nation’s transportation infrastructure to our economic growth. Auguste described the state of consideration for our highway and transportation trust funds, when funding will deplete, and the forces driving this situation. He said that infrastructure is an often-overlooked economic issue for the small business community and urged attendees to give it thought and consideration.