As the coronavirus pandemic continues to challenge small business owners, many face a common and timeless question: What will happen to their businesses when they leave, retire or die?
To help these business people address that question, U.S. Rep. Andrew Garbarino, a Republican from Sayville who represents Wantagh-Seaford, joined other members of the House of Representatives to draft legislation that would help small business owners create business succession plans.
Dubbed the Small Business Succession Planning Act, the bill would:
Direct the Small Business Administration to create an online business succession planning toolkit, and train staff members to guide small business owners through the process of creating a succession plan.
Direct the SBA to host business succession planning workshops across the country.
Provide small business owners with a one-time $250 tax break to create a business succession plan and an additional $250 tax break when the succession plan is implemented.
Kruter said that his family has a reputation in the community for being committed to their customers and having an encyclopedic knowledge of the goods they sell. His family, he said, sees the business continuing to thrive in the community for another 45 years.
But, Garbarino emphasized, “Unfortunately, more than half of our nation’s small business owners do not have a succession plan in place. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing common-sense legislation to better equip our small business community with tools to develop succession plans and build upon a framework I’ve laid out as a former assemblyman and private-practice attorney.”
Garbarino, who represents the 2nd District, worked to draft the legislation with Cheri Bustos, an Illinois Democrat; Jason Crow, a Colorado Democrat; and Tom Rice, a Republican from South Carolina.
Bustos brought the idea to her House colleagues after she held economic roundtables with community leaders in her district in Illinois in 2019. A common concern owners shared, she said, was that they didn’t have the tools or knowledge to pass their small businesses along themselves after they move on to new opportunities or retire, or to make arrangements for the transition if they die.
Small businesses drive local economies by offering employment opportunities as well as services to other businesses, while building wealth for the community as a whole.
“When even one small business closes, an entire community loses,” Bustos said at a virtual news conference on Feb. 11. “With the global pandemic forcing many of our small business owners to take a new approach to keeping their business healthy, succession planning has become more critical than ever before.”
“As a third-generation Long Islander and small business owner, I know first-hand the blood, sweat, and tears small businesses owners pour into ensuring their businesses are a success,” Garbarino said, referring to his and his father’s Sayville law firm, Garbarino Law Office.