Small Business Jobs Bill passes SenateU.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar voted Thursday to pass the Small Business Jobs Act, legislation intended to help small businesses access capital, stimulate investment through tax incentives, and promote entrepreneurship.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar voted Thursday to pass the Small Business Jobs Act, legislation intended to help small businesses access capital, stimulate investment through tax incentives, and promote entrepreneurship.
The small business package also includes the Export Promotion Act, which was introduced by Klobuchar and Senator George LeMieux (R-FL) to help small- and medium-sized businesses promote their products overseas.
“Small businesses are the engines of job creation in Minnesota and across the nation, and they can lead the way to economic recovery,” Klobuchar said. “By passing this legislation, we are giving small businesses access to credit, which is essential to helping fuel economic growth and creating jobs.”
The Small Business Jobs Act includes provisions that would:
--Create a $30 billion fund to increase lending for small businesses.
--Increase the limit on the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loans from $2 million to $5 million, 504 loans from $1.5 million to $5.5 million, and increase the 7(a) program’s loan guarantee from 75 percent to 90 percent.
--Extend and expand the depreciation deduction for small businesses through 2011 to allow them to write off 100 percent of capital expenditures in the year purchases are made, up to $2 million per year.
--Help entrepreneurs by doubling the amount of start-up expenditures that may be deducted by those starting a small business.
--Encourage investment in small businesses by allowing investors to exclude 100 percent of the capital gains from investments in small businesses held for five years.
“In an increasingly competitive global economy, it is important that small businesses have access to the information and tools that can help them capitalize on potential opportunities in foreign markets,” Klobuchar said. “This bill will help promote Minnesota businesses in foreign markets, and by doing so, will increase revenue, create jobs, and drive economic growth. Exporting is literally a world of opportunity.”
The Klobuchar-LeMieux provisions would also expand the outreach program through the department’s Rural Export Initiative (REI) to ensure that small- and medium-sized businesses located in rural areas know about available export-promotion services. In 2006 alone, the REI helped rural American businesses generate over $183 million in exports with an investment of $860,000 – a return of approximately $213 on each dollar.
U.S. exports currently support more than six million jobs in manufacturing and one million jobs in agriculture. Businesses that export pay their employees 13-to-18 percent more and are 8 percent more likely to stay in business than are companies that do not export. However, less than 1 percent of U.S. businesses take advantage of exporting, and of those that do export, 60 percent limit themselves to only one foreign country.