Paulo Rodrigues discusses the merits of a basic income for small business owners, those people often portrayed as the beating heart of the Conservative Party.
Here is how basic income could help you if you run a small business or are thinking of setting up a small business.
Small businesses will face cash flow problems from time to time. If you are just starting up it may be because you haven’t established your customer base yet. Perhaps your business is seasonal and you operate at a loss in the off season or maybe your customers don’t pay on time. For whatever reason, you still need enough money to pay yourselves. If you have to take out more loans to pay the bills and provide you with an income during those periods, you are then saddled with servicing that debt as well as all the other costs.
Basic income will provide you and your family with resources sufficient to survive even if your business is not bringing in any cash. It means that you as a business owner do not have to provide for yourself during a lean period and it could make all the difference between staying afloat and folding. When your business is back in the black, your taxes will pay back society for the help it has given you in establishing and sustaining your business.
Another way it could help you is if you have an ideal partner with whom you wish to start a business but they don’t like the idea of being without income from some other more stable source. If they had a basic income then they might be willing to work in partnership in exchange for a stake in the company. They could do this safe in the knowledge that their basic needs will be provided for while they get stuck into helping with the business.
But enough about you. Here is another way basic income helps. Anyone who takes work gets to keep their basic income. It’s unconditional. That means that all those people on low income who cant afford your products and services now are going to have a little extra cash to splash. They may use some of it to pay of their debts but when people have a bit of extra money and aren’t struggling to make ends meet they will spend a bit more to purchase your services and/or products.
So vote now for the European Citizens’ Initiative for an Unconditional Basic Income to get the ball rolling. You can sign up here.