Among the core elements that must exist in society in order for small business to flourish is certainty about the future. When it comes to estimating future costs, such as spending millions on building a new production plant, foundational to those decisions is a confidence that the laws under which the business will operate won’t be changing in any substantial way that would adversely affect the business.
I have written on the topic of uncertainty in the past (here and here.) But in an emerging area of research on policy uncertainty, we are learning that as uncertainty elevates in the populous, businesses draw back from their recruiting efforts, thus keeping unemployment unusually high and creating a drag on the economy.
In the research reported by the Wall Street Journal, policy uncertainty – illustrated by the health care debates and a very poorly written law and the debates over the debt ceiling and spending levels – contributes to anywhere from .7 to 1.5 percentage points to the unemployment level. At the higher end, this represents over 2 million people who could have been employed if it weren’t for the high levels of policy uncertainty within the business community.
In the past, we have discussed the core purposes of business – products, passions and profits. But in order for a business to produce products that enable the community to flourish and allow individuals to express their creative passions, the community must provide certainty in which the businesses can function. There needs to be stability in those areas that affect business operations – tax laws, health care, debt and deficits. I believe one of the greatest legacies of the boomer generation is the uncertainty and unrest that has been created over the last six years. It appears this uncertainty will not abate anytime soon.
For the Christian business owner, it’s more important than ever to operate with complete dependence on and confidence in God. He has promised to provide for our needs and has proven Himself faithful time and again. If He has called you to own and run a business, then He will provide what your business needs for the time He wants you running His business.
Don’t let the worries of this world get you down. Stay focused on running your business for Christ. And remember His words in John 16: “In this world you will have trouble – but take heart, I have overcome the world!”
Bill English, CEO