It has been a while since we checked in on the National Federation of Independent Business, or NFIB. On the day after markets began a rebound, and when President Trump went to the Villages – a large land-lease community that features manufactured homes mixed with other construction – we’ll spend some time this morning report focused on what NFIB’s latest survey has to say of interest about small business. MHProNews will then look at takeaways from this for manufactured housing, specifically for manufactured home independents.
NFIB tailors news releases and statements to members in several ways. Among them are local/state level information, while the more commonly known are their national insights.
In a pair of news releases, here are examples of each one. They will be followed by an MHProNews analysis as to what these examples suggest to manufactured housing industry professionals.
Florida Congressman Tours Small Businesses
Date: October 01, 2019
FL Rep. Ross Spano visits small businesses, pledges to be a strong voice for Florida small businesses.
FL Rep. Ross Spano visited eight small businesses last month as part of his Small Business Tour, pledging to be a strong voice for Florida small businesses.
Spano met with Courtney Paat Insurance Agency (Plant City), Minuteman Press (Plant City), Patriot Arms (Brandon), Bills Prescription Center (Brandon), Pronesis Technology (Brandon), Electric Today (Brandon), Lupton’s BBQ (Temple Terrace), and M and B Products (Temple Terrace).
“These businesses face many of the same struggles I faced when I started my own small business 13 years ago,” said Spano. “Cutting through the morass of government red tape can be a daunting process, especially on top of the time and energy it takes for businesses to keep the lights on and their employees paid.
He also pointed out that the vast majority of all Florida companies are small businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, constituting 99.8% of all businesses in the state and employing over 3.4 million
Floridians,” said Spano. “In the 15th Congressional District alone, we have over 12,000 small businesses employing over 100,000 of our neighbors, an average of eight people each.”
NFIB endorsed Spano in the 2018 congressional elections.
Before moving on to the next NFIB statement, let’s note the following about Congressman Spano, per Wikipedia.
He was first elected to Congress in the 2018 elections.
United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
- Subcommittee on Aviation
- Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
- Subcommittee on Railways, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
United States House Committee on Small Business
- Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access
- Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations(Ranking Member)
Ross Spano was born in Tampa, and graduated from Brandon High School. He later attended the University of South Florida, where he graduated
with a BA in history in 1994, and the Florida State University College of Law, receiving a JD cum laude in 1998, where he was a member of the FSU moot court team and the FSU Journal of Transnational Law and Policy. Ross Spano was admitted to the Florida bar the same year.
NFIB Survey Confirms Small Business Tax Cuts Continue to Fuel Economic Growth
Date: October 01, 2019
Millions of small business owners are taking advantage of the Small Business Deduction, which continues to provide a big boost to the national economy. That’s according to the NFIB’s latest member survey, which shows 83 percent of small business owners believe 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is having a positive impact on the economy.
With GDP growth of 2.5 percent over the past six quarters, we’re enjoying the longest unbroken streak of economic expansion in history, and small business is leading the charge — the Index of Small Business Optimism surged to a 46-year record-high in August and has continued a historic run of strong levels ever since.
Two-thirds (66%) of NFIB members report the tax cut bill had a positive, or very positive, impact on their bottom line. That’s in large measure thanks to the Small Business Deduction which allows pass-through business owners to deduct 20 percent of their business’s income up to $315,000 for joint filers.
Despite the potential benefit, nearly a third (32%) of members remain unfamiliar with the Small Business Deduction, either leaving the details to their tax professional or unfortunately leaving possible savings on the table. So, NFIB will continue to spread the word so that all of our members can take full advantage of every potential tax break that means more money for hiring and training new staff, enhancing benefits, increasing compensation, or expanding the business.
The Small Business Deduction has been a big win for entrepreneurs, but we need to fight to keep it. The deduction will expire in 2025, unless
Congress makes it permanent by passing the Main Street Tax Certainty Act (H.R. 216 in the House, S. 1149 in the Senate). Be sure to let your representative and senators know how important this legislation is to you and your business.
MHProNews Additional NFIB Facts, Insights, Plus MH Industry Takeaways
The NFIB has many times more member companies – by a factor of about 5 to 1 – than the manufactured housing industry has full time employees. It is enormous in size, compared to our industry or its associations. Thousands of those who weren’t in the industry 20 years ago have only known the historically low production levels of the post-Warren Buffett/Berkshire Hathaway era.
MHProNews sources with NFIB have told us that there are hundreds of manufactured home industry connected firms which their membership search revealed. They are widely known as the ‘voice of small business’ in Washington, D.C., but also at state capitals.
By their own account, NFIB says the following.
“NFIB’s national membership spans the spectrum of business operations, ranging from sole proprietor enterprises to firms with hundreds of employees. While there is no standard definition of a “small business,” the typical NFIB member employs 10 people and reports gross sales of about $500,000 a year. The NFIB membership is a reflection of American small business.”
Here is a collage from the NFIB site of their policy agenda. If this sounds good to smaller or mid-sized businesses, it should.
The above is what White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow would call a pro-growth, pro-business agenda.
NFIB has a ready access to mainstream media on several levels. A recent example is this pull quote which linked to an op-ed posted on right-of-center Fox Business.
The takeaways here are many. For example, why didn’t MHI promote the National Association of Realtor’s fine report on manufactured housing, by having an executive do a letter for like Juanita Duggan did for NFIB?
Comparing and contrasting what NFIB does with what the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) does reveals some fascinating differences. Let’s outline just a few. In no particular order of importance:
- MHI hides most of their so-called research on their new class of homes plus their consumer research behind a firewall. It is for members only.
- By contrast, NFIB puts out media releases and wants as much useful media attention as they can get.
- By the way, notice that MHAction, which is tiny compared to MHI, also puts out their ‘white paper’ – that essentially slams several MHI connected firms, and by extension gives the industry a black-eye – for all to see.
- NFIB wants their statements widely known, while MHI tries to control and limit their communiques to members, why? Is MHI opaque while NFIB is more transparent? If so, why?
- Why is it that MHI makes most of their research only available to members? If they are trying to influence the wider marketplace, why aren’t they doing more to publicize the good news about manufactured housing, and refute the problematic?
Keep in mind what Tim Williams, president and CEO of 21st Mortgage Corp, told MHProNews.
That is common sense. These bullets and quotes are part of the reality staring the manufactured housing industry in the face.
When a top staffer at a Democratic lawmakers office tells MHProNews that MHI has a reputation for being ‘anti-consumer,’ a view he says is held by others on Capitol Hill, how does that image help an MHI member company? Further, where does that impression come from?
The reasons for forging a new post-production manufactured housing trade group are many.
As a final note, MHARR is structured differently than either one of these two – NFIB or MHI. Their mission statement makes them laser focused on only a few key issues. So when part-time, reportedly rewarded/compensated MHI surrogate George Allen compares or questions MHARR, he should do so in a fair context. He should also remind readers how often he has relied on MHARR for accurate information that he himself, sometimes with and/or without attribution, cited.
As MHProNews has stressed, objectivity is critical with all people and organizations. The principle of the wheat and chaff is useful. While Buffett said it about people, can’t it be applied to an organization – like a nonprofit – just as well?
In pondering the emerging formation of a new pro-growth, pro-good business ethics manufactured housing trade group, keep in mind that such a group could and should be working with other nonprofits in a positive fashion. The NFIB would be among them.
The industry is underperforming. Several investor relations packages produced by MHI member companies say as much.
The post-production sector – where sales occur – is ‘represented’ by MHI. How are they doing? Where are the calls for their accountability, beyond this platform, MHARR, or MHLivingNews?
That’s your first pre-dawn installment on your #1, most-read trade media — your home of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.
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