My first guest post for Smallbiztrends went live this week. “Will 2010 Be the Year of Start-Up America?” generated much interest, prompting many people to ask for my opinion about President Obama’s State of the Union Address — and what impact it will have on the nation’s small businesses.
My ears perked up when I heard our President say, “Now the true engine of job creation in the country will always be America’s businesses. But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers. We should start where most new jobs do–in small businesses, companies that begin when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream or a worker decides its time she became her own boss.”
There were five key points made by President Obama that are noteworthy and make me somewhat optimistic that this administration finally understands that supporting America’s small businesses will save the nation’s economy. I have listed the initiatives in order of what I think will be most helpful.
- Tax credits for one million small businesses that hire new workers and providing wage increases.
Many businesses could be helped by this. The key will be how soon it would take effect.
- Tax incentives for all businesses to invest in new plants and equipment.
I would suggest that this incentive be connected to building energy efficient plants.
- National Export Initiative to help farmers and small businesses increase their exports.
Small businesses need to know how to go global. I need more details on this, but I am excited to think that this program could make a real difference.
- 30 Billion dollars for community banks from the repaid TARP funds.
This is important because previously alternative lenders (CDFIs & CDCs) had about 1.6 Billion dollars to lend. The challenge that exists with this is two-fold:
1) Many existing business are no longer credit worthy after nearly two years of struggling there.
2) No lender wants to fund start-up businesses with no track record or collateral. So who will qualify to borrow these funds?
- Eliminate the capital gains taxes on small business investment.
Given that 97% of all small businesses in the US generate less than one million in revenue, the capital gains tax relief is really going to help an extremely small number of entrepreneurs.
At the end of his speech President Obama said, “I know there are many Americans who aren’t sure if they still believe we can change or that I can deliver it. We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come. A new decade stretches before us. We don’t quit. I don’t quit.”
We’ll Mr. President you had better not quit! The nation’s 26 million small businesses are counting on you to be change we can believe in.
Having this conversation about a small business economy is so important right now. Please leave me a comment to share your thoughts on this subject.
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Melinda Emerson “SmallBizLady” is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Expert and Social Media Coach who hosts #Smallbizchat on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted resource on Twitter to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business. Melinda’s first book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-By-Month Guide to a Business That Works will be released by Adams Media in March 2010.