South Carolina’s Top Small Business Group Praises Plan to Create Department of Workforce

February 4, 2009

House bill ‘a good step’ toward improving the state’s program for helping the unemployed

COLUMBIA, SC – February 4, 2009 – J.J. Darby, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, praised a bill filed this morning by Rep. Kenny Bingham (Cayce), House Speaker Bobby Harrell (Charleston) and others that would create a new South Carolina Department of Workforce within the executive branch.

“This is definitely a good step,” said Darby, state director of NFIB/South Carolina, the state’s leading small business association. “Rep. Bingham’s bill represents a good opportunity for South Carolina to shake things up and take a fresh approach to fixing things.”

South Carolina has asked for $330 million in federal loans to continue paying jobless claims. Small, independent businesses are a substantial contributor to the state’s unemployment fund.

State-specific data isn’t available, but according to the latest NFIB Small Business Economic Trends survey, small businesses nationwide in December reported their largest monthly decline in employment in survey history—about one-quarter reduced employment an average of 4.2 workers, and almost 20 percent planned job cuts within the next 90 days.

“Some people say that the best way to fix South Carolina’s problem is to raise taxes, but that doesn’t make any sense,” Darby said. “We’re in the midst of the worst recession in years. Small businesses simply can’t afford to pay higher taxes.

“What Rep. Bingham is proposing is that the state take a fresh look at the problem. We want to be sure that the people looking for work and the businesses looking for employees are getting what they need. Before we start talking about raising taxes, we need to make sure we’re getting the most out of the money we have,” Darby said.

National Federation of Independent Business

NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at