ConnectWise CEO Hopes President-Elect Trump Will Cut Taxes And Overtime Pay Requirements For Small Business Owners

ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini said President-elect Donald Trump's background in business and willingness to roll back regulation will create a better operating climate for MSPs.

"I think he will get government regulations aligned with business," Bellini told CRN. "There's a lot of opportunity for a smart, savvy businessperson in the White House."

Trump is uniquely positioned to understand just how burdensome excess regulation can be. Bellini said business owners are in a better position to understand that capitalism and entrepreneurship are what make America great, while presidents with a background in law – a list that includes Barack Obama and Bill Clinton – often see the legal system as the way to improve America.

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"Washington has put out way too many regulations in the last number of years that make it very burdensome for small- and mid-size business to operate profitably," Bellini said. "I think [Trump] does understand that, because as a businessperson, he has to live with all of those things."

Bellini said that he's a fan of a businesspeople in the White House in general rather than of Trump specifically. He called this year's election cycle "unfortunate," and said many people felt they didn't have a good choice.

Bellini said he would like to see Trump roll back a Department of Labor regulation set to take effect late this year that would require businesses to classify all workers making under $47,500 annually as hourly workers, making them eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

MSPs will not only face the obligation of having to pay out more in overtime, Bellini said, but will also face additional record-keeping requirements related to tracking and documenting hours worked by employees making less than $47,500 annually. The salary cutoff for overtime pay currently stands at just $23,660.

"Raising the threshold to $47,500 is going to pull a huge percentage of the workforce into being hourly employees," Bellini said. "That is going to be devastating for small and mid-sized businesses."

Bellini is pleased by indications that Trump wants to depart from the recent usage of monetary policy – such as changing interest rates or the total amount of money in supply – as an economic lever. He is glad Trump wants to return to using fiscal policy - which involves the changing of tax rates or levels of government spending - as the primary economic stimulant.

"Trump is following Reagan economics, and Reagan economics was brilliant, but it took a long time to take effect," Bellini said. "If we allow fiscal policy to stay in place long enough, we will see the benefits in our economy."

During the campaign, Trump departed from the GOP orthodoxy on issues of trade and immigration through actions such as opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and an expansion of the H-1B skilled worker visa program. Bellini doesn't think Trump's policies on trade or immigration will affect solution providers since most MSPs don't sell their products or services across international borders.

ConnectWise customer Axispoint Technology Solutions expects Trump to reward businesses that keep jobs in the United States rather than shipping them overseas, said Myriam Martinez, manager of support services. The Briarcliff, N.Y.-based MSP has received many offers to move its after-hours or weekend service desk overseas, but Axispoint has held firm in using American labor despite the available cost savings.

"We want to employ people who live in this country and want to contribute to this country," Martinez said. "The incentives that Trump plans to give to business is very important. We feel it's going to be a very positive impact in the economy and for business in the United States."