On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Donald Trump was elected the next president of the United States, dividing the nation between those who embrace him as an outspoken agent of change, and those who fear that his divisive rhetoric and inexperience in public office point to danger ahead.
Entrepreneurs are as divided as the nation, though at least one poll suggested Trump has been the favorite. An August online survey of 2,448 small business owners by Manta, an online news, advice and educational services firm for business owners, showed 39 percent support for Trump, while Hillary Clinton had 27 percent, and 35 percent were undecided.
But now that he has prevailed in the election, Trump and his administration will soon be making policy calls on behalf of America — and American businesses. What will that mean for women business owners over the next four years?
For many women, whether they manage firms or not, the racist, misogynistic and xenophobic words that defined Trump’s bid for office and emboldened people who shared his views have been deeply troubling. And his election leaves many women — particularly women of color, immigrants and women in the LGBT community — feeling threatened and further marginalized.
To women business owners, Trump has not had much to say. He has not yet addressed their specific issues — think better access to capital and to government contracts. However, he does spotlight on his official campaign site a number of ideas that could impact women business owners. For example, he advocates reform of current business regulatory codes and a moratorium on new ones.
Below, we recap a few of Trump’s most significant proposals that, if enacted, could impact women’s firms and their employees:
In his tax plan, Trump proposes lowering the business tax rate for firms of all sizes to 15 percent from a current rate of 35 percent. He also intends to eliminate entirely the corporate alternative minimum tax, a policy that was passed to limit overuse of tax incentives by large companies.
In addition, Trump wants to reduce the number of individual tax brackets from seven to three, which would raise taxes for some for low- and middle-income filers and lower them for others, while largely reducing taxes for high-income taxpayers.
Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. That would also nix the Small Business Health Options Program, which is designed for firms with 50 or fewer employees — which describes the vast majority of women-owned businesses.
Trump’s alternative healthcare plan would eliminate the existing requirement that all individuals procure coverage if they don’t have it through an employer or other institution, permit sales of health insurance across state lines, and allow individuals to deduct healthcare premiums from their taxes, among other measures.
Childcare and Paid Parental Leave
The president-elect’s plans include providing 6 weeks of paid leave for mothers (fathers are not mentioned) and incentives for employers to provide childcare to workers, primarily through tax credits. His proposals do not specify whether some or all companies would be covered by these policies. Federal laws currently do not require firms with 50 workers or fewer to provide employees with paid family leave.
Trade has been one of Trump’s biggest campaign issues. As president, Trump has promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, among other measures.
Canada and Mexico are two of the most important countries for exports by small businesses in the United States, making NAFTA especially important for entrepreneurs, and raising many questions about the potential impact on them from changes to the trade agreement.