In a well- publicized poll last September, Donald Trump appeared to be winning over small business owners by a pretty comfortable margin. This was seen, by many, as a response to Obama-era anxieties over issues like a raised minimum wage, health care, and concern with government over-regulation.

Yet many experts, like the generally unpolitical Rhonda Abrams, author of many books likes The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies, were adamant that his proposals would do little for the many small business owners out there struggling with taxes or trade. With his election last night as President, it's time to look at those polices and see what exactly they are.

Regulations

One big promise Trump has made is cut some of the red tape that businesses often have to face in their infancy before they can get a product to their customers. The only problem is that Trump hasn't specified much about what tape he plans on cutting. He's been most vocal on opposing the EPA's Clean Power Plan, which will probably help out if you run a coal-mining operation. Here's the scoop on what other regulations Trump might untangle.

Minimum Wage

While flip-flopping extensively on the issue, the alternative Trump finally offered to raising the minimum wage has been a combination of offering tax credits to families for child care expenses and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), that supplements the wages of low-income employees. On the plus side, this would shift responsibility to the government to pay for the rising costs of their employee's well-being, read about that here here. The downside? It's essentially a pricey welfare scheme that might not fare well with a Republican controlled Congress.

Taxes

Here's the note that many pro-Trump small business owners have talked about as a key plank behind why they supported the now-President elect. Danny Koker, star of the reality TV show "Counting Cars," endorsed Trump during an appearance on FOX Business, saying that "as you work harder, and as you try to become more and more successful, you seem to become more and more penalized whether it's with taxes or with regulations." Trump has promised tax cuts for business income but it will only apply to small businesses that are large enough to pay their own income taxes. If you pay income tax on a "pass-through," as in as part of your personal income tax, it isn't likely Trump will do much.

Health Care

Trump promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which would demand employees make tax-deductible contributions to pay for their health insurance instead of obligating all businesses with fifty or more employees to ensure coverage for their employees. Here's an idea of how HSAs work and here's a review of current policy.

Trade

Another big issue Trump railed against as a candidate was trade: namely raising tariffs on imports and potentially sparking trade wars with potential exporters. Which means if you're a man manufacturer and your customer base is mostly domestic, you might enjoy less stiff competition. But if you're one of the 293,000 small and medium-sized companies who export, you might get hit hard.

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The Federal Reserve sets the guardrails for the federal funds rate, and through that helps control the money supply for the nation.

When you take out a loan for a car, charge something to your credit card, or get a personal line of credit, there is going to be an interest rate that applies to your loan.

A lot of different factors go into what you will be charged, including your own personal credit score. But even those with flawless credit still see a minimum charge that they can't get around. That all goes back to the Federal Funds Rate.

One thing consumers rarely realize is that all of our banks are lending money to each other every night. Banks are legally required to maintain a certain percentage of their deposits in non-interest-bearing accounts at the Federal Reserve to ensure they have enough money to cover any withdrawals that may unexpectedly come up. However, deposits can fluctuate and it's very common for some banks to exceed the requirement on certain days while some fall short. In cases like this, banks actually lend each other money to ensure they meet the minimum balance. It's a bit hard to imagine these multibillion-dollar financial institutions needing to borrow money to tide them over for a bit, but it happens every single night at the Federal Reserve. It's also a nice deal for those with balances above the reserve balance requirement to earn a bit of money with cash that would normally just be sitting there.

The Federal Reserve The Federal Reserve


The exact interest rate the banks will charge each other is a matter of negotiation between them, but the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) (the arm of the Federal Reserve that sets monetary policy) meets eight times a year to set a target rate. They evaluate a multitude of economic indicators including unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence to decide the best rate to keep the country in business. The weighted average of all interest rates across these interbank loans is the effective federal funds rate.

This rate has a huge impact on the economy overall as well as your personal finances. The federal funds rate is essentially the cheapest money available to a bank and that feeds into all of the other loans they make. Banks will add a slight upcharge to the rate set by the Fed to determine what is the lowest interest that they will announce for their most creditworthy customers, also known as the prime rate. If you have a variable interest rate loan (very common with credit cards and some student loans), it's likely that the interest rate you pay is a set percentage on top of that prime rate that your lender is paying. That's why in times of low interest rates (it was set at 0% during the Great Recession), a lot of borrowers should go for fixed interest rate loans that won't increase. However, if the federal funds rate was relatively high (it went up to 20% in the early 1980's), a variable interest rate loan may be a better decision as you would be charged less interest should the rate drop without the need to refinance.

The federal funds rate also has a major impact on your investment portfolio. The stock market reacts very strongly to any changes in interest rates from the Federal Reserve, as a lower rate makes it cheaper for companies to borrow and reinvest while a higher rate may restrict capital and slow short-term growth. If you have a significant portion of your investments in equities, a small change in the federal funds rate can have a large impact on your net worth.

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