How President Obama’s Second Term Will Impact Small Businesses

BY: ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 07, 2012

The election is over. For some, it's finally over.

The race did not end up being the horse race so many pundits were predicting. The predictions of chaos and complications with voter fraud and recounts did not occur. While the major networks bickered back and forth, called some states earlier than others and remained frantic throughout the night, the result remains the same. Barack Obama has been reelected for another four years as President of the United States.

Breaking It Down

As it was mentioned earlier, the race was called relatively early. It wasn't much past 11:00 PM EST when the networks began to call the race for the President. Obama's path to victory became clear as he began to pick off swing state after swing state, carrying massive prizes such as Ohio and Virginia, such states that Romney was hoping to flip. Although Romney was able to flip Indiana and North Carolina, it simply wasn't enough for the Republican challenger. Of particular interest was Florida, which was practically neck and neck and votes are still coming in as of the completion of this article. The state has been essentially called for Obama at this point; however, it turns out that Obama did not even need the state to secure victory.

Earlier on during Tuesday night, there was great concern that the President would lose the popular vote despite securing the Electoral College, signaling the divided state of the nation and the country's displeasure with Obama's performance. As the numbers came in, however, Obama did indeed secure the popular vote 50% to 48%, leading by over 2.5 million votes. It was noted that voter turnout was indeed lower during this race than it was in 2008.

As it stands, Obama has a confirmed 303 electoral votes to Mitt Romney's 206. While the President's victory proved to be by a thinner margin than that of 2008 against John McCain, the race was not nearly as close as the media had thought.

The Last Words

Romney held off on conceding until after 1:00 AM, hours after the major networks such as CNN and Fox had already declared Obama the victor. There was great dispute over reporting in Ohio, which essentially was seen as the key turning point for either candidate. As more votes piled in and more states such as Virginia went Obama's way, however, Romney's path to victory shrunk to the point of no return.

During his concession speech, Romney thanked his supporters, congratulated the President and urged the country to put politics aside and move on. The rhetoric was a refreshing change of pace from the negative attacks from both Democrats and Republicans during the election season.

“We look to job-creators of all kinds,” Romney said. “We're counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward, and we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics. “

The President's acceptance speech came soon after during the early hours of the morning. The rhetoric was something that most of us had heard before, yet it managed to end a negative election season on a positive note.

“I believe we can seize this future together,” Obama said to a roaring crowd in Chicago. “Because we are not as divided as our politics suggest; we're not as cynical as the pundits believe; we are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions; and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America."

The Country is Split Over the Election...

Despite the President's notion that the country is not as split as the politics suggest, the numbers are difficult to overlook.

The electorate is extremely split. President Obama carried a bulk of the swing states, as well as the popular vote. The country still has a Republican majority in the Congress and a Democratic majority in the Senate. The campaigns themselves, although you may not have guessed it based on last night, were incredibly vicious. Furthermore, an estimated and unprecedented $6 billion was spent by the campaigns and outside groups. Considering that much of that money was spent on negative ads, well, let's just say these facts don't exactly paint the prettiest picture of the American voting landscape.

Election after election it feels that the electoral climate is more and more tense. The country still remains extremely divided on the issues, and as cliché as it may sound, we may very well be as divided as ever.

...And So Are Small Businesses

Plain and simple, much like the electorate at large, small businesses are also split on Obama. Some believe that his actions in the past and promises for the future support entrepreneurs, meanwhile others feel the exact opposite way. Obama attempted to reach out to small businesses during his campaign, although perhaps not as much as his opponent. Regardless, the President has another four years in office and small business owners are waiting for his next move.

What are small business owners saying about the President? The Washington Post asked entrepreneurs around the country how the felt about another four years under President Obama and the response was mixed.

"Most of Obamacare will now likely go into effect and no one knows exactly how much of a government tax this will impose on the nations' small businesses,” said Chris Ellis, a business owner in Cincinnati with over 200 employees. “This and the increased taxation on the so called 'rich' of this country will not incentivize small businesses to create jobs or continue offering health insurance to employees... Here's hoping Congress can get past the bitter bipartisanship and move forward regardless of who is in the White House and get things done."

"I have never been more concerned and pessimistic towards future growth prospects as I am after the reelection of President Obama,” said Joe Olivo of New Jersey. “The pending implementation of the health care law has created great angst because there is still so much that is unknown in regards to how this law will be implemented and what the true cost is. I have seen regulations grow significantly during the past four years and I don’t expect this to subside.”

"Obama’s reelection will allow our company to grow,” stated Lawrence S. Nannis of Massachusetts. “Our practice deals with the entrepreneurial community and Obama has helped pass legislation that has improved the situation for these companies, which provides us more opportunities and allows us to hire”

The fact remains 61% of voters felt that the economy was the most important issue at stake for the 2012 Election. We know very well just how important small businesses are to such an economy, and therefore whatever the President does next in terms of economic policy will want to speak to those businesses.

This begs the question; what's next for President Obama and small businesses?

The Fiscal Cliff and Jobs

Pundits and politicians are already discussing the looming fiscal cliff, addressing many tax increases and spending cuts which are set to take effect in 2013. With the divided Congress and Senate, however, it appears that a gridlock may be imminent. Will the two sides manage to come together before the end of the year? Will it all be a repeat of last year's debt ceiling debate? What can the President do to get the ball rolling?

Many small business advocacy groups are urging the President to act sooner rather than later on the fiscal cliff.

As the election came down to the economy, small business owners want to know when they'll be able to hire and how much they can expect to grow. Jobs remain a central issue to the American public and the President will have an uphill battle without both Democrats and Republicans alike reaching across the aisle to pass legislation to ease the stress currently placed on the small business community. If politicking as usual continues in Washington, the economic climate for small businesses most likely will remain the same. For some, that may not mean much; however, to others, it's make or break.

The specifics of new legislation concerning taxes and regulations will come in time, although we may know more as soon the fiscal cliff is dealt with. Of course, there are many question marks spinning around the heads of small business owners in the wake of the Affordable Care Act. Once again, only time will tell.

What we do know now, however, is that President Obama has won reelection. For better or for worse, small businesses will continue to run for the next four years with his administration in the background. Many feel that the economy is indeed recovering, some feel it's happening to slowly while others do not feel the impact at all. Regardless, we can hope that over the next four years, the economic climate for the SMBs does indeed improve and the President holds true his promises to improve the situation at home for small businesses.

About the Author

Brent Barnhart

Brent Barnhart is a freelance content writer specializing in topics such as Internet marketing and content marketing for small businesses. His goal is to help business owners find their voices online and improve their content strategies. You can reach Brent or find out more at brentwrites.com.

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