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Walmart’s Offshore Tax Havens Hurt Small Businesses That Support Communities

A recent report released by Americans for Tax Fairness exposed Walmart for their evasive tax practices and revealed that the retail giant is holding over 78 billion dollars in offshore subsidiaries. Our members were quick to speak out against these practices and took to the media to make their voices heard.

Matt Birong, owner of 3 Squares Café (a cute and comfortable spot in Vergennes, VT) and member of the Main Street Alliance of Vermont, compared the high road business practices of his company to the extractive economic policies of Walmart and other multinational corporations in his article, featured in The Hill.

“Small businesses like mine are being squeezed by tax policies written for the upper echelon. Even though our revenue sheets look much different than those of the retail giant, we are forced to supplement the income of their employees and absorb a larger share of the tax responsibility,” said Birong.

Kelly Conklin, a member of the Main Street Alliance national executive committee, owner of Foley-Waite cabinets in New Jersey, also weighed in on the issue and spoke about growing his business while supporting his community in his article, featured in the Augusta Free Press.

“Small businesses can’t afford an army of accountants and tax lawyers like Walmart can to create offshore tax-avoidance strategies,” said Conklin. “None of us have shell corporations in Luxembourg. Even if we could pull off such financial shenanigans, I honestly believe most of us wouldn’t want to.”

“We’d rather contribute what we should to the public good and see our communities thrive right alongside our businesses,” said Conklin.

Small business owners already face stiff competition from large corporations, like Walmart, that can execute bulk purchases and drive down prices. The latest tax evasion revelation demonstrates just how far the scales are tipped in favor of big businesses.

Congress can act to rein-in these practices – and our leaders will continue to work to make sure their voices are heard on this issue.

Will SEC order a dose of sunlight for corporate political spending?

Mary Jo White, the new Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, was recently confirmed to a five-year term that secures her position until 2019. With that kind of job security, Ms. White should be able to rise above the partisan pressures of Washington politics and advance a proactive agenda at the SEC that furthers its mission of protecting investors and promoting transparent, well-functioning markets.

But already, Chair White’s resolve is being put to the test through the debate on a proposed SEC rule that would require disclosure of public companies’ political spending. Read more

Tax Havens for Big Business? Small Business Owners Say ‘Not so fast’

Multi-Partisan small business owners spoke out earlier this month, further distinguishing their interests from those of Big Business.

Wednesday, in his post “Has the Budget Crisis Du Jour Got You Down?” Bill Daley pointed out that if Congress were to close one tax loophole on offshore accounts, it could be enough to create a ‘job stimulus’ program the country has not seen since the beginning of the Great Recession. Read more

Move to Amend is Moving In Oregon

From the Main Street Alliance Website:

Main Street Alliance of Oregon has been surveying business owners throughout Oregon and is finding strong interest in electoral reform. Currently around eight in ten business owners feel the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, freeing corporations to spend unlimited sums of money in elections, is bad for small business. And seven in ten would support a constitutional amendment declaring that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Read more

Bank of America to Charge Fee to Use… Your Money

Beginning January One, Bank of America will be charging customers $5 a month to use their debit cards. Back in 2009, small businesses banded together to fight back against ever escalating fees levied by the banks. This was a monumental win for small businesses- these fees amounted to a $16Billion a year transfer of wealth from the nation’s businesses directly to Wall Street. Click here to see how small businesses beat back the big banks. Read more

Small Businesses Oppose Mandatory E-Verify as Job-Killer

Ahead of a scheduled mark-up of H.R. 2885, a proposal that would mandate the use of the controversial E-Verify employment verification system by every employer in the country, small business owner David Borris, owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Northbrook, IL spoke at a press event outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on September 14 opposing the plan. David is a leader in the Main Street Alliance network. Read more