Small Business, Big Problems

New costs suggest Obama’s second term promises hardships for smaller firms

November 27, 2012

Small businesses across the country are planning for economic hard times during President Barack Obama’s second term.

Basic Machinery Co., Inc. (BMC)—a small design firm in Siler City, N.C., that specializes in heavy industrial systems for the brick, tile, power generation, recycling, and ship and rail terminal industries—has already felt the negative effects of Obama’s policies and its executives are worried for the future.

Hal Milholen, vice president of sales and marketing and partner at BMC, said the company was forced to downsize by 40 employees during Obama’s first term and is expecting to reduce employment by another 30 percent during Obama’s second term.

Milholen points to several causes for his company’s woes, including "$6.5 million in projects cancelled within two weeks following the election," and a "lack of interest by the United States Government in providing a more secure tax environment for small businesses" such as BMC.

"Many small businesses [hide] profits in any way possible" to avoid higher taxes that act as a hindrance to "outside ventures for investment of said profits," he said.

The biggest concern for Milholen is the upcoming implementation of Obamacare, which will force BMC to modify its labor force to employ "more part time positions, resulting in a less skilled work force."

Those who do remain fully employed by BMC will only have partially covered insurance premiums due to rising health care costs, despite BMC’s history of providing full coverage for employees.

Mr. Milholen also fears for the future of the industrial plants that do business with BMC. He said that the only industry with a sign of strength is the biomass co-generation industry, "primarily due to government funding for some" companies.

However, "less than 5 percent of these" government funded "projects are coming to fruition," he observed.