President Barack Obama will be holding a summit Nov. 16 at the White House with congressional and corporate leaders to discuss the impending year-end tax increases and spending cuts, known as the fiscal cliff. In a Nov. 14 statement, ABC expressed concern about the troubling exclusion of small businesses from the summit.

“While we appreciate that President Obama has turned his attention toward the looming fiscal cliff, we regret his decision to shut out the small business community from these important discussions,” said ABC Vice President of Federal Affairs Geoff Burr. “While large, public corporations are important drivers of the economy, small, pass-through businesses in the commercial construction industry and other industries stand to suffer the most from the president’s proposed tax increases.”

Burr pointed out that despite the administration’s continued rhetoric about millionaires and billionaires, the tax hikes will begin at just $250,000, which would raise marginal tax rates for nearly one million small businesses. He also noted that pass-through businesses employ 54 percent of the private sector workforce and account for the vast majority of all business entities, including 80 percent of the construction industry.

“That the White House would ignore this vast segment of the economy while engaging big business and big labor allies reflects a troubling lack of seriousness at this critical juncture,” said Burr. “With time running short, we sincerely hope President Obama will consider the job-killing impact of higher tax rates on small businesses.”