Fiscal Cliff Causes Miserable Christmas for Small Businesses

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If U.S. leaders wanted to give small business owners a great Christmas gift, the looming fiscal cliff issue would already be resolved. But instead they left for their holiday break, leaving U.S. job creators in the lurch with less than a happy holiday in store. U.S. small businesses must still plan for year’s end and make the tough decisions small business owners and entrepreneurs always do. Here’s the latest news and some tips for finishing out your year.

Uncertain Future

See ya. Wouldn’t want to be ya. With time ticking away until tax increases and spending cuts take effect at the end of this year, U.S. leaders have left for the holiday break. Some remain optimistic, but small business leaders are left guessing without the certainty they need to plan for hiring, expansion, and growth in the new year. ABC News

Bah Humbug. Without a deal in place to avert the fiscal cliff, small businesses looked to as the key job creators to shore up economic recovery won’t have a very Merry Christmas, writes Mike Whalen, a member of the Job Creators Alliance and CEO of Heart of America Group, owner of 27 restaurants and hotels in 10 metropolitan areas across six Midwestern states. U.S. News & World Report

Be Prepared

Time is money. Small businesses must face the fiscal cards dealt them by the economy and policy gridlock in Washington, while at the same time, never forget the employees who day in and day out help build a great brand, provide great customer service, and deliver great products and services consistently. This year, with a tight budget and uncertainty looming, small business owner Cynthia Kay decided to give the gift of more time with family. Washington Post

Count it up. There are a number of things companies must do toward the end of the year. And for businesses with considerable stock, year-end inventory is one of those necessities. Here is a brief overview of what you need to perform an effective inventory. Don’t procrastinate. The end of the year is coming. It’s time to get started. The Bottom Line

Stormy Weather

Tax truths revisited. Another deadline is coming at the end of this year. It’s time for year-end tax planning and those decisions to contribute to your retirement fund, give charitable contributions, make major purchases, accelerate expenses, defer income, take advantage of the healthcare tax credit, and more. Grow Smart Biz

Blow me down. While you figure out your year-end tax planning, don’t forget about the perfect storm. We’re talking about super storm Sandy, here. There may be tax relief for businesses that were affected and tax benefits for those that wish to help the victims. If you want to know more about the options available and whether they apply to your business, check out this post by attorney Barbara Weltman.

Online effectiveness. Businesses outside the U.S. will also have plenty to focus on in the new year. Take e-commerce companies in the U.K., for example. A survey commissioned by Rakuten’s, says 83 percent of U.K. customers now shop regularly online. In fact, U.K. e-commerce is expected to hit £77 billion in revenue by the end of 2012. Business Review Europe

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.