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Change is in the Air

After a long and “interesting” election process, a new president will be taking office on January 20, 2017. The inauguration of President Donald Trump will usher in sweeping changes in federal policies, rules and regulations. The new Republican Congress will also be passing legislation in areas like healthcare that our new president is likely to sign. I believe we must support those changes we believe will benefit the country and fight against those changes that affect the country negatively.

Many of the changes expected from the Trump administration will impact South Florida’s legal, accounting and financial community. For example, changes in immigration laws, policies and enforcement may impact corporate hiring, EB-5 investments, young “American Dreamers,” family reunifications and international visitors who may change their travel plans. It will also be interesting to see if there are changes in the U.S. policy toward Cuba that would affect travel, immigration and financing.

Of course, there are many other changes expected from Washington in the coming year. A change in the tax laws, for instance, could affect attorneys, CPAs and their individual and business clients. Doing away with the “employer mandate” to provide health insurance would create new options for South Florida businesses. Some might drop coverage in order to reduce costs, while others might continue to provide plans for their employees to gain a competitive edge in attracting talent.

A federal infrastructure program could stimulate the economy through public-private partnerships (P3), generating more work for attorneys and consultants whose practices focus on government relations, construction and real estate. On a state level, passage of the medical cannabis amendment will have an impact on Florida’s nurseries and dispensaries and may create new business opportunities.

As we move into the New Year, all of us need to consider how best to adapt to the coming changes. Firms that are able to respond quickly, advise their clients appropriately and serve as advocates for their interests are likely to benefit — those that do not adjust will not fare as well.

Jacob Safdeye
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