We have thought and discussed as a team, and felt it would be both informative and enjoyable to have a regular (or semi-regular) blog from our Owner and President, Toni Terrill Skaff.  The subject will be entirely up to her, and in her own voice.  So, without further ado, here is the first MUSING FROM OUR PRESIDENT:

Small business employs approximately 4.5 million people annually in the state of Texas. The majority of those small businesses consist of 100 employees or less. Ironically, being the small fish in the large pond, we are often the hardest hit with tax changes and insurance increases. 

As small businesses we have been given the responsibility of making sure that garnishments are made so that child support reaches children. We are responsible for reporting when individuals move from job to job and we must keep up with all the employment law and human resource requirements, often with one and two person offices.

When a law is created relating to financial payment and individuals are slow to follow through, the responsibility gets placed on the employer. Garnishments for child support, in many states garnishments for bad debts, become the responsibility of the employer. This is most taxing on the small business employer that does not generally house a large Human Resource Department to facilitate these requirements.

When we provide health insurance for our employees, we are not given any preferred rates or large group discounts, we pay what the individual would pay, and we are required to pay a majority percentage of the cost. Many small business owners cover the entire cost of the health insurance for each employee. Thinking about the cost of health care, this is daunting.

As Election Day comes around every four years, small business must steel themselves for new financial hits. More paperwork requirements and more laws to tie their hands. Our lobbyists are very small in number. Though we are simply trying to make a living, create a product and/or service for our customers, and create jobs for our employees, we seem to be the first on the line of attack when tax changes are made. There seems to be a hidden agenda against the small business man.

There is also an illusion that small business owners can work and vacation when they want. Much to the contrary; we take off the least amount of vacation and sick time. The majority of small business owners are in the trenches day after day working with their employees, not merely supervising and overseeing.

Personally, we started our business in order to raise our family in a closely knit environment; to have some control over how our children’s’days would be spent.

Many businesses are begun the same way for similar reasons. A vast majority of small businesses are family-owned and -operated.

The culture of a small business frequently is that of a family atmosphere. We provide personal support to employees if they have family issues, we provide financial support often by extending advances and loans.  We have helped many employees with car repairs, house purchases, weddings, quinceneras, and funerals. The small business employer is most often the first person that is approached for help during hard times.  That is not always for just financial support but emotional support as well.

Small businesses should be protected. They should have the respect of everyone especially the government. We hold within our four walls collectively the livelihood of over 4 million souls and their families. This is monumental: what affects us effects the entire country.