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A Walk Down Main Street

What’s Really Happening in the Small Business World? 

For PEOs, it’s hard to know what is really happening within any given small business.

It’s possible to collect data from small businesses about their optimism, and conversely, pessimism, towards such things as new job creation or the ability to fill existing jobs, plans for capital outlays and increasing inventories, expansion, and the outlook for sales. Trends in these areas provide a broad context and can tell PEOs a lot about their clients and potential clients.

So too can data that aggregates information from small business owners about the challenges they face from industry and economic issues, product demand, tighter consumer credit, and laws and regulations. Such data provide insight into the environment in which clients and potential clients find themselves operating.

One of the most important statistics for PEOs is the state of small business employment. Tracking small business employment not only indicates how the economy is performing, but also takes the pulse of small business, because in a small company, employees are pretty much everything.

More telling than economic data and statistics, however, are narratives from real small business owners, revealing their every-day struggles and challenges, in their own words. This feature presents narratives from nine small businesses across the country, of different sizes and in different industries. These narratives can help PEOs interpret the economic data and statistics, and really see how it filters down to real life in the small business world.

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The Employer Mandate

January 1, 2016, will mark the first anniversary of the effective date of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) employer shared responsibility provisions, commonly referred to as the employer mandate. PEOs have expended a great deal of time and energy this year helping their clients meet their employer mandate requirements, and are crossing their fingers that 2016 comes and goes without clients receiving a dreaded notice from the IRS assessing an employer mandate penalty. However, given the newness of the employer mandate rules, there are many areas of uncertainty that are creating headaches for PEOs and their clients. Some of the most notable ones are discussed below.

Legal Currents

Joint Pain

On August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) unveiled a new standard for determining whether two businesses are “joint employers” for purposes of collective bargaining and other National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) obligations. In the process, the NLRB reversed 30 years of precedent and significantly expanded the scope of potential joint employer status under the NLRA.


Client-Centric Marketing

When searching for the right PEO to meet their specific needs, current and prospective clients have a vast amount of information at their fingertips, and many choices. To earn their business in today’s competitive marketplace, you will need to learn as much as you can about your potential clients and craft messages that resonate.

Start-up Guide

12 Strategies for Creating a High-Performing Sales Team

I’m often asked what it takes to have a consistently high-performing sales team. I often find myself saying, “They will need this and they will need that… oh, and don’t forget about…” However, there is not a simple answer this question. This question often causes introspective brainstorming sessions. This article does not claim to have all the answers, merely some in-depth thought as you plan for the success of your team, whether you are just starting your PEO or are expanding your existing sales team. There are many reasons why these strategies are provided herein. Unfortunately, editorial constraints control the number of words that can fit into an article for PEO Insider.®


The Inside Word

Representing a Diverse Membership Abram Finkelstein, 2016 NAPEO Chairman

As long as I have been involved in the PEO industry, a broad range of companies, business models, and, of course, management styles, has populated it. As the industry has matured and business operations within the PEO space have changed, there is now a great deal of distinction between the various business models and sizes of PEOs.

NAPEO Notebook

The Best Program in Memory Patrick J. Cleary

As I write this, I have just returned from the Arizona Biltmore and another terrific NAPEO Annual Conference & Marketplace. Odds are that if you’re reading this that you were there, because turnout was spectacular, with about 700 people in attendance. For the week, we owned the historic hotel. Literally everyone who was there at the Biltmore was there for the NAPEO conference.


Abram Finkelstein: 2016 NAPEO Chairman of the Board

Before joining the PEO industry, you practiced commercial litigation, corporate law, and labor and employment law. What insights did this give you into the HR and compliance foundation of the PEO? My legal education and experience were an excellent foundation for me to own a small business. In my brief career as a practicing attorney, I had an opportunity to work with businesses that ranged from very small entrepreneurial firms to publicly held companies. That exposed me to a wide swath of contract issues, as well as labor and employment matters. In defending the labor and employment matters that came up, I became acutely aware of the challenges that small and medium size businesses experience. It was that exposure that opened my eyes to how important HR and regulatory compliance is to small business and how valuable the PEO service is.

Statehouse Update

On the Horizon Daniel Harris

The 2015 state legislative session proved to be a success on many fronts for the PEO industry. In New Hampshire, legislators were able to come together to pass legislation that will finally allow PEO clients in that state to take advantage of the state’s business enterprise tax credits. In Nevada, the governor signed a bill that will allow PEO clients to claim exemptions offered under the state’s modified business tax. PEOs in Texas will now be able to take credit for SUTA wages paid by the client or on behalf of the client thanks to legislation signed by the governor that goes into effect for services rendered on or after January 1, 2016. This capped off a busy yet productive legislative session for the industry.

NAPEO Advisor

Browning-Ferris Implications, Cyber Security, Proposed Overtime Reg Comment Period Farrah L. Fielder, Esq.

Q. Why is everyone talking about the Browning-Ferris Industries decision from the NLRB? Does this affect PEOs? What about OSHA, generally? A. Here are the answers, respectively: It is important, maybe, and time will tell. The Browning-Ferris Industries issue revolved around a non-union temporary staffing agency that was supplying workers to a unionized company and examined who should be considered the employer for purposes of collective bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

PEOs in the Community

PEOPLEASE is Leading Corporate Civic Engagement in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina Sam Rossa

PEOPLEASE truly does ease the burden of others by not only providing solution-minded services to our clients, but by also offering fun and philanthropic initiatives to our team members, within our community, and within the communities of the clients we serve. The correlation between community and wellness program efforts manifests benefits in a host of ways, including parallels between community engagement and employee retention, productivity, and overall bottom-line benefits. In short, businesses that do good, do well. In this article, I will share just a few ways PEOPLEASE is engaging in outreach with our communities and staff.

Global Insights

Choosing America’s Economic Future Thomas J. Donohue

A great debate is heating up about what kind of an economy our nation will have and the level of individual freedoms and personal choices American citizens and businesses will enjoy. It will only intensify as the campaign for the presidency reaches a fever pitch in the coming months.


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