Obama's Plans for Small Business

Suzanne Sataline breaks down Obama's business “blueprint” to bolster the economy and create new jobs.
Business Writers
January 25, 2012

In his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama uttered the words “small business’’ just a few times, but his so-called “blueprint” to bolster the economy and create new jobs offered glimmers of help for businesses big and small.

Obama referenced the difficulties businesses face concerning taxes, manufacturing and overseas competition. "An economy built to last is one where we encourage the talent and ingenuity of every person in this country," Obama told the gathering of lawmakers, cabinet members, government leaders and invited guests. “It means we should support everyone who's willing to work, and every risk-taker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs."

Here are some of the details.

1. The president urged Congress to help startups and small businesses succeed by stripping away regulations and changing the federal tax code.

The administration, according to an explanation on the White House website, has proposed 17 tax cuts that would benefit small businesses and expand access to capital by “reforming regulations that prevent entrepreneurs from getting financing.’’

“Both parties agree on this,’’ Obama told lawmakers. “Put it in a bill and get it on my desk.’’

2. Obama said he wants to reward companies that create or return jobs to the U.S. with lower tax rates for manufacturers and doubling the tax deduction for high-tech manufacturers. The administration says the president favors an international minimum tax on overseas profits, which would prevent other countries from attracting American business with minimal tax rates.

3. Obama said he wants to support companies that invest in communities hardest hit by large job losses. He proposed a new tax credit for companies hoping to finance new factories, equipment or production in communities hit hard when a company moves or a military base closes.

4. The U.S. should spur innovation, Obama said, by investing in research and development.

Business folks may be more receptive to the president’s ideas because he is by far the favored candidate of small-business owners, according to a recent survey. Nearly a third of small-business owners said that Obama was the most supportive of small business among all the presidential candidates, according to a poll of more than 1,000 members of Manta, an online small-business community.

About a third of those surveyed said they planned to choose the president at the polls, while 17 percent said they planned to vote for Republican Mitt Romney.

Among the Republicans, Texas Congressman Ron Paul was seen by 20 percent of respondents as the one who is small business’s biggest supporter. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, followed at 16 percent, with former House speaker Newt Gingrich coming in at 9 percent of the vote. The survey was taken online between Jan. 4 and 18, 2012.

More than half of business owners told surveyors that they were dissatisfied, by varying degrees, with the field of 2012 presidential candidates.

Are you? Who would you vote for?

Photo credit: iStock

Business Writers