Small businesses brace for fiscal cliff impact - KCTV5

Small businesses brace for fiscal cliff impact

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Pres. Barack Obama is urging Congress to get a deal done before the U.S. goes off the fiscal cliff, which could cost Americans millions of dollars.

If an agreement is not reached by Jan. 1, the tax rate for all Americans is scheduled to increase and many, including the president, agree the economy would suffer.

Small businesses would take a large part of the impact and are already wondering who they'll handle their budget.

It was a busy Friday night at New York Dawg Pound, a hot dog joint in Overland Park, KS. Two years after its grand opening, sales are still strong.

But uncertainty looms because of Congress' failure to reach a deal on taxes and spending.

"Basically it's difficult for us to build a business plan when we don't' know what the business plan is going to be - how much we're going to have to spend, how much we're going to have to pay attention to taxes, how much we're going to pay attention to all the different things," owner Will Brown said.

Obama said as much in a statement earlier in the day Friday after meeting with congressional leaders and pushing them to move forward on a deal.

"Economists, business leaders all think that we're poised to grow in 2013 as long as politics in Washington don't get in the way of America's progress. So we've got to get this done," he said. "For our economy, it would be bad for middle class families and it would be bad for businesses that depend on families spending."

Moody's analytics released numbers this week estimating how much taxpayers across the board would likely pay if we go off the fiscal cliff. University of Missouri-Kansas City Economic Professor William Black, who expects that to happen, said the country would go into an economic free fall if Congress didn't reach a deal by mid-January.

"The nation would go into a recession in the second half of the year. People would lose their jobs, incomes would fall, revenues would fall and the budget deficit would get larger," Black said.

Small business would feel the pinch as well.

"At worst, taxes would go up a very tiny amount for people who make over $250,000 a year," Black said.

But the owner of New York Dawg Pound just wants a deal done.

"I'm willing to do my part. If we have to raise taxes a little bit to get back on track, let's do it. But the whole fighting, it's just not good for the country," Brown said.

Obama said Friday he was optimistic that Congress would reach a deal. A vote could come as early as Sunday.

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