Jan. 23, 2023

Act Broadens Access to Benefits, Simplifies Mergers and Acquisitions, Targets Retail Theft

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, also known as the end-of-year omnibus bill, was signed into law last month and includes three provisions intended to help small businesses.

The $1.7 trillion bill includes $800 billion in non-defense funding. Included in that spending is language from the SECURE 2.0 Act, a bill that broadens access to benefits such as 401(k)s that will help small businesses attract and retain talent. The bill doubles the tax credit to help cover administrative plan set-up costs, adds a matching tax credit of up to $1,000 per employee to incentivize employer matching contributions, and exempts firms with 10 or fewer employees from the auto-enrollment mandate.

The omnibus bill also simplifies the mergers and acquisitions process by streamlining the Securities and Exchange Commission’s oversight of the purchase and sale of smaller, privately held companies. As a result, the bill helps level the playing field for small business owners, including retirees, by reducing the cost of their mergers and acquisitions transactions.

Finally, the bill bolsters local and state efforts to address retail theft. The included INFORM Consumers Act will target criminals who purchase stolen goods and resell them for profit online, which harms retailers and crowds out legitimate small business online merchants.

All three measures were strongly supported by business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.