Business Models

Offering fee-based services for those who can afford it, in order to generate income to support free ESL/literacy services for those who can’t, makes a lot of sense—especially contracts with other organizations and businesses for custom-designed services. This  isn’t a new idea, but it’s probably something more organizations that provide community-based literacy instruction ought to be looking at. I just can’t see a scenario in the near future in which government funding (federal, state, or local) for adult literacy or ESL is likely to substantially increase, and growth in foundation and charitable giving in general  is likely to continue to be pretty flat. At the same time, immigration reform appears to have at least a reasonable chance of passage in the near future, and if it does, that will  likely  open up even more opportunities for fee-based English language instruction and translation services.

Small Businesses Worried about Cuts to Education and Job Training

According to this poll, a majority (57%) of small business owners think that spending cuts for education, health care, and infrastructure would hurt the economy more than a tax increase on the wealthiest 2%. In addition, a huge majority (86%) are concerned that part of the solution to the “fiscal cliff” problem might include additional cuts to state grants for career and technical education and job-specific technical training. A solid majority (66%) are specifically concerned that there will be cuts to Workforce Investment Act (WIA) state grants.

It’s also interesting to me that in terms of taxes, a large majority of small business owners said that they are worried about increases to employee payroll taxes, because this could lead to a decrease in disposable income—which could lead, in turn, to a decrease in demand from potential customers.

The poll was conducted by the Small Business Majority.