A New Dawn for Small Businesses: What to Expect if Donald Trump Retakes the White House in 2024

A New Dawn for Small Businesses: What to Expect if Donald Trump Retakes the White House in 2024

Photo by Tabrez Syed on Unsplash

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The world of politics is a dynamic chess game, with each move impacting the economy and by extension, small businesses. As we look ahead to the presidential race in 2024, there’s a familiar face expressing intent to reclaim the Oval Office - Donald J. Trump. The former president has been vocal about his plans to transform the federal government. But what would this mean for small businesses? Let’s delve into the potential scenarios.

A Seat of Power: The Executive Branch and Independent Federal Agencies

Trump’s intent to extend the power of the executive branch could be a gamechanger. He has spoken about direct oversight of independent federal agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). His campaign site explains this as a commitment to “dismantling the deep state and restoring government by the people.”

If enforced, this could mean an overhaul of federal bureaucracies, aimed at eliminating the perceived corruption in Washington, D.C. While some see this as a power grab, others view it as a necessary step to clean out the rot and restore integrity in government processes.

The Popular Vote: Weighing Public Opinion

Despite legal hurdles, Trump’s popularity among Republican voters seems unwavering. A recent New York Times and Sienna College poll shows that he leads the pack of Republican candidates by a significant margin. This popularity could translate into political momentum, bringing his plans closer to realization.

Checks and Balances: Potential Implications for Small Businesses

An altered balance of power could have direct consequences for small businesses. If federal agencies report directly to the president, checks and balances in their operations could be compromised.

For instance, the FTC reviews thousands of merger filings annually. If under direct presidential control, decisions on mergers could potentially be influenced by the Oval Office, creating potential conflicts of interest. The implications could ripple through the business world, affecting stakeholders from large corporations to small businesses.

Taxing Matters: Potential Changes in Revenue Collection

A change in government structure could also impact how business taxes are processed. Calls from some House Republicans to abolish the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) hint at potential uncertainty around tax matters. Although abolishing a federal agency would require Congress’s approval, indirect routes to control could be pursued.

The Return of Impoundment: A Blast from the Past?

Trump has raised the idea of bringing back impoundment—the practice of withholding funds from federal agencies—a tactic once used by former president Richard Nixon. He has expressed his intent to challenge the Impoundment Control Act in court and, if necessary, get Congress to overturn it. This move could lead to significant savings but also raises concerns about potential abuse of power.

The Impoundment Control Act: A Tool or a Weapon?

Impoundment could serve as a way to curb inflation. However, critics argue that it could also be used as a tool to withhold funds from federal agencies that Trump may not want to exist.

In the words of Patricia Crouse, a professor of political science at the University of New Haven, “It’s a slippery slope.” She warns that strict control over agencies could hamper their ability to do their jobs effectively.

Small Business Administration: The Potential Fallout

If funds appropriated for the Small Business Administration were impounded, services intended to support entrepreneurs may cease. This could affect Women’s Business Centers or Veterans Business Outreach Centers that offer training and counseling to entrepreneurs.

Power Dynamics: Shifting Control from Congress

Impoundment essentially shifts control over financial matters from Congress, Crouse explains. It presents a potential avenue for Trump to do away with agencies without going through Congress.

Conclusion: Bracing for Change

As we look forward to 2024, the potential return of Donald Trump to the White House presents an intriguing picture for small businesses. It’s a prospect that brings promises of transformation and challenges that demand resilience. Whatever happens, one thing is clear: change is coming. And in this dynamic world, small businesses must remain adaptable and resilient, ready to meet the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. After all, change is not just about survival—it’s about thriving in new realities.

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