The S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC) again had an outstanding year of fighting for the best interests of small businesses in South Carolina.
At the top of the major SCSBCC accomplishments are victories in workers’ compensation insurance and electricity rates:
- In February the Workers’ Compensation Insurance industry proposed a 7.3% increase in premiums from businesses in South Carolina. Only two organizations, the SCSBCC and the State Consumer Advocate, intervened in the regulatory process to oppose this hike. In August a settlement was reached that cut the proposed increase by 58% to only 3%. The savings to South Carolina businesses — $23 million the first year.
- In June South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) filed for a 6.6% average general electric rate increase for its 668,000 customers. Small businesses would have seen their rates go up 4.19%. SCSBCC president, Frank Knapp, intervened as an individual in the rate case to oppose the hike on small businesses. In December the S.C. Public Service Commission approved a settlement between Mr. Knapp, other intervenors and SCE&G. The net impact to small businesses will be only a 0.08% increase in electric rates. The agreement also provides for no other general SCE&G electric rate increase until January 1, 2015.
There were also legislative victories in the South Carolina Legislature:
- Successfully opposed a bill that would have unfairly increased the operating costs of bars and restaurants to pay for mandatory bottle and can recycling.
- Successfully supported a bill to level the playing field between a multinational corporation (Safelite) and locally-owned small auto glass installers.
- Successfully supported a bill to allow businesses to organize as Benefit Corporations if their mission is to create profit as well as invest in more social goals to promote a sustainable economomy
- Successfully supported a bill that will continue to lower the state income tax paid by small businesses that are S-Corps, LLC’s or sole proprietorships. The rate on this small business pass through income now at 5% will be lowered by two-thirds of percent for the next three years until it reaches 3%.
Your dues are an investment in maintaining the SCSBCC’s ability to advocate on your behalf. Thank you for your continued support.