|President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union Address last Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012, and several of his ideas could have very positive impacts on the sustainment and creation of small businesses and the jobs they create.
To support small companies in the United States that create products and employ people in the United States, the President proposed lowering their tax rates.
Further proposed are tax incentives to manufacturers who moved into communities where a large manufacturer had left. This should good news for people across Missouri, where many have experienced job loss as small manufacturers closed their doors during the recession. In the last 18 months, manufacturers actually added jobs to the economy for the first time in 10 years. The President wants to "ride the tide" of the increased production in the manufacturing industry.
The President called for increased federal support of the nation's natural gas industry. Dollars that could be designated to spur natural gas production should in turn spur small business growth to support that production, as well as new construction. This kind of activity creates jobs.
It will take Congress to act to turn many of the President's State of the Union proposals into working policy, but some directives are already being implemented by the SBA and other federal agencies.
The President promised to tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting financing. The SBA was tasked and continues to work on programs to address regulations that hamper small businesses and also to provide loan programs to help fill credit gaps in small business lending.
President Obama is the only President in history to issue an Executive Order to federal agencies requiring them to assess the small business impact of every new proposed federal regulation, and that act already has created massive savings for small businesses. The SBA's Office of Advocacy reported $11.3 billion dollars in regulatory savings for small businesses in their report to Congress...just in the last fiscal year of 2011.
The SBA works with lenders across our nation to supply federally guaranteed programs that spur lending to small businesses. In the last three years, the SBA has worked to make the programs more relevant and easier for lenders to use. This includes:
- providing higher loan limits for our flagship 7(a) loan program
- developing financing allowing small businesses to refinance high interest debt on their buildings after real estate values declined during the recession
- providing more support for micro-lending in an effort to help people get very small businesses started
- funding at record levels our state partnered Small Business Development Centers, our Women's Business Centers and SCORE - which provide small business counseling and training.
Last year, the SBA broke all of its previous small business lending records.
In April, in conjunction with StartUp America, the SBA will unveil a new $1 billion early stage innovation fund designed to help new, creative companies start and stay in business until they can fully produce and market their products.
These are steps that have already been taken to help small businesses create jobs and help build our country build, but the President's proposals is what it will take to truly pave the way for what the President calls "An America Built to Last."
Commentary by Patricia Brown-Dixon, regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration