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BizReport : Internet : December 20, 2019

From recession to impeachment, how DC's headlines may affect SMBs next year

Small businesses may be upbeat about their future, with many planning to expand in the New Year, and primarily optimistic about their financial future, rumblings out of Washington DC are still concerning to some. We asked a digital expert how small businesses might change in 2020.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: California is readying their GDPR-like CCPA - California Consumer Privacy Act. What implications does this hold for SMBs throughout the US?

Charley Moore, CEO & Founder, Rocket Lawyer: Like GDPR in Europe, CCPA is undoubtedly going to increase the cost of doing business in California and other places. New rules to comply with that will require investment on company parts in technology and know-how. Business owners need to budget for increased costs. In addition to increased compliance costs, CCPA opens up the potential for new litigation -- another legal risk companies have to budget for. Any company that essentially has any sort of presence online is going to interact with personal information governed by CCPA, and as a result has new liability.

Kristina: All eyes are on DC right now, and most are talking about the impeachment hearings against President Trump. If there is an impeachment, how might this impact small business?

Charley: Your business should be able to flourish no matter who the president is. And I think that's especially true for small businesses.On the other hand, who's in charge does matter, so you should really understand in your business what policies are opportunities and threats for your business. If you're a business that relies on immigration, like much of the tech sector does, the tightening of H1 work visas for skilled tech workers has been a real challenge for Silicon Valley companies. Certainly, those who are politicians and government officials that support lenient immigration policies would make sense to companies who depend on work visas for skilled labor. With all of these various policies, it's important for small businesses to understand what policies are opportunities, and what are threats to their business. From a business standpoint, owners should plan and participate accordingly.

Kristina: We're twelve years past 2008's Great Recession, and businesses seem to be doing well - but do you foresee a recession ahead?

Charley: No one knows when a recession will happen, everyone knows that it will. You should always be ready for a recession, especially now that we're in late stages of an economic expansion. Famously, J.P. Morgan didn't take any tarp funds in the Great Recession when so many other banks were failing. Similarly, Ford is proud of the fact that they didn't need a bailout when other companies did. I think a business should aspire to have durability and manage prudently. There's no better time to be in business than a time where all of your competitors are struggling and you've got resources. Business owners should want to be the one hiring when everyone else is firing, and a great way to do that is to be aggressive and prudent at the same time. This can be done by planning, doing your work now by taking advantage of this great economy, and ultimately being ready for when the weather changes.

Tags: CCPA, presidential impeachment, recession worries, Rocket Lawyer, small business optimism, SMB trends

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