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Begich Supports Small Business Jobs Act


Legislation encourages small business hiring, expansion

With the goal of providing jobs for Alaskans and giving small business owners the opportunity to create those jobs, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich joined his colleagues today in supporting the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. The bill passed by a vote of 61 to 38.

The bill is designed to encourage investment in small business and provide small businesses with the ability to easily access capital so they can expand their businesses and hire or retain workers. Included is a series of tax cuts and expanded lending opportunities to help support the recovering economy and long-term job creation.

"I've heard over and over again from small businesses in Alaska that access to financing is key to their survival," Begich said. "This bill makes money available to expand and sustain operations which can only lead to job security for Alaskans."

Alaska's more than 16,000 small businesses are a key part of the economy, comprising 56 percent of all private sector job employment. It's estimated the bill passed today will create 500,000 jobs nationwide.

Highlights of the bill include:

·         $30 Billion Small Business Lending Fund - Provides $30 billion in capital to small banks; the Small Business Lending Fund would support $300 billion in new lending to small business. Only lenders with less than $10 billion in assets will be eligible for the fund.  Over 90 percent of eligible banks will be community banks with less than $1 billion in assets.

·         Increase Grants under State Small Business Credit Initiative - Increases by $1.5 billion the amount provided to states for grants to support small business lending programs;

·         100% Exclusion of Capital Gains Tax - Allows investors in small businesses to take a 100 % exclusion from capital gains taxes on small business investments made in 2010;

·         Remove Cellular Phones from "Listed Property"- The cost of cell phones could be deducted or depreciated like other business property, without burdensome record keeping requirements.

·         Health Care Cost Deduction - Allows self-employed taxpayers to deduct health care costs for payroll tax purposes on their 2010 tax returns.

Hundreds of small business and community bank organizations supported the bill including the National Small Business Association, the Small Business Majority, and the National Bankers Association.

The Independent Community Bankers of America called the small business lending fund the core component of the legislation and the provision that holds the most promise for small business job creation in the near term.

Michael Grant, President of the National Bankers Association called the small business lending fund a home run.

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