Small businesses are the engine of our economy, creating two-thirds of the new jobs over the last 15 years. Small businesses continue to face a lack of credit and tight lending standards, with 45% of small businesses seeking loans unable to get their credit needs met in 2009 and lenders reporting three years of tightening loan standards for small firms through this winter.
Democrats in Congress continue working to offer small businesses the tools and resources to endure our current economy and thrive in the future, placing a down payment on our long-term economic growth. To create hundreds of thousands of jobs on Main Street, the House passed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act in June to expand much needed lending to small businesses and offer tax incentives to help small businesses grow, hire, and fuel our economy–which are fully paid for and comply with pay-as-you-go budget law. The bill:
Leverages billions in loans for small businesses through a lending fund for community banks
Invests in innovative state small business lending programs
Provides tax incentives to spur investment in small businesses and the formation of new small businesses
Restarts private investment to meet small businesses' evolving financing needs through a new SBA public-private partnership
Is fully paid for, with the small business lending fund saving taxpayers $1 billion as banks are expected to repay funds over 10 years
Today, President Obama called on the Senate to act on this legislation saying it should be “the first business out of the gate” when they return in September:
A report yesterday from the Labor Department underscores why this is so critical. In the final few months of last year, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees accounted for more than 60 percent of the job losses in America — more than 60 percent. These are the businesses that usually create most of the jobs in this country. And this report, combined with this morning's news that unemployment claims rose again, compels us to act. It compels us to stand with the small businessmen and women who are trying to grow their companies and make payroll and hire new workers.
The jobs bill that is stalled in Congress would completely eliminate taxes on key investments in small businesses. It would allow small business owners to write off more expenses. And it would make it easier for community banks to do more lending to small businesses, while allowing small firms to take out larger SBA loans with fewer fees, which countless entrepreneurs have told me would make a big difference in their companies. I'd also like to point out this legislation is fully paid for and will not add one single dime to our deficit…
There will be plenty of time between now and November to play politics. But the small business owners I met with this week, the ones that I've met with across the country this year, they don't have time for political games. They're not interested in what's best for a political party. They're interested in what's best for the country.
When Congress reconvenes, this jobs bill will be the first business out of the gate. And the Senate Republican leadership needs to stop its efforts to block it. Let's put aside the partisanship for awhile and work together for small businesses, for employees, and the communities that depend on them across this great country.
As Speaker Pelosi has said, our economic “recovery depends on small business owners and entrepreneurs — the men and women who take risks, embrace opportunity, hire workers and pay them a decent wage, and reach for their piece of the American dream.” The Senate must act.