February 09, 2010

THE KEY TO JOB CREATION IS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS

 

 

 

As we look at a national unemployment rate that has at times has topped 10 percent in the last year, and hear the latest news reports that approximately 44,000 Marylanders lost their job in 2009, there is no doubt that additional actions are needed to get our economy moving.   A priority must be to include significant help for our small business community. 
 
As a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, I have long supported provisions that help provide small businesses with the tools they need to survive and thrive during these historically economically difficult times. Small firms pump almost a trillion dollars into the economy each year, create two-thirds of our nation's new jobs annually and account for more than half of America's workforce. 
 
In Maryland, 522,000 small businesses provide economic opportunities to diverse groups of people, employing more than 1.2 million citizens and bringing innovative products and services to the market. But without working capital, the economic growth of small businesses in Maryland and across the country will be severely limited.
 
President Obama has proposed legislation that would provide tax credits for small businesses that hire new employees.  
 
Last week, prior to the President's State of the Union address, I introduced the Boosting Entrepreneurship and New Jobs Act (S. 2967) to spur job creation and strengthen our economy by providing tax credits and direct loans to small businesses. We've made some progress, but there is much more we can do.   Congress and the President must work together to craft the strongest possible bill that will help turn around our economy and get Americans back to work.
 
Key provisions of my bill include:
 
·          Creating a tax credit for health insurance expenses for companies with up to 25 employees.
 
·          Establishing a refundable small business tax credit for job creation.
 
·          Providing direct loans to small business, according to existing 7(a) loan guidelines, using $ 30 billion in TARP funding.
 
·          Encouraging the elevation of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to Cabinet-level status.
 
·          Repealing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act exclusion of NIH funds from SBIR/STTR requirements, and ensure $150 million in grant awards to small biotech companies.
 
·          Expressing a sense of Congress that large financial institutions have a responsibility to support the recovery of the American economy by increasing lending activity to qualified small businesses.
 
Our economy has faltered and Americans want Congress and the President to get our economy moving. Over the next month, Congress will be working to enact legislation that will help stimulate jobs and economic growth.