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Recent activity from Small Business Majority

NEWSLETTER: September 23, 2010
From John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO Small business has been in the national spotlight lately, on issues ranging from jobs to healthcare reform implementation and clean energy. Small Business Majority has been working closely with policymakers on all of them.

Today especially is a big day for the small business community: Congress sent the Small Business Jobs Act to the president to be signed into law, and Sept. 23 marks the six-month anniversary of healthcare reform. Small Business Majority remains committed to keeping you informed on these issues, and ensuring your voices are heard. Updates on our work and matters affecting small businesses are always available at www.smallbusinessmajority.org. Small Business Jobs Act clears final hurdle
After months of debate, the Senate passed the Small Business Jobs Act on Sept. 16. CEO John Arensmeyer joined Senators Landrieu, Boxer, Cantwell and Merkeley in a press conference on Capitol Hill urging the Senate to support the bipartisan bill just two days before the Senate vote. The House of Representatives passed the bill today and sent it to the president for signing. The Act creates a $30 billion lending fund to encourage small business loans by community banks, provides $12 billion in tax cuts and much more. It truly does more for small businesses than any bill has in years. Healthcare reform: six months later
Six months ago, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed. A number of provisions take effect today, including new rules forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage to children under 19 with preexisting conditions, and the requirement that all insurance plans must provide free preventive care such as annual check-ups, mammograms and colonoscopies. Policies that already took effect this year include tax credits for small businesses, along with a reinsurance plan for seniors that will provide them with much-needed financial relief so early retirees can get affordable care.

Small Business Majority has spent the summer educating small business owners, organizations and policymakers about the new law, and moving into fall, plans on continuing an information campaign about this important and complex legislation. Most recently, Small Business Majority National Policy Director Terry Gardiner and National Outreach and Government Affairs Manager Rhett Buttle held a call for small business owners and organizations, where they answered questions on and explained the details of a form released by the IRS to help small businesses determine their tax credits for next year’s tax returns.
Entrepreneurs in the Small Business Majority network in the news
The New York Times prominently featured Small Business Majority and a small business owner in our network—Betsy Burton—in an article on Sept. 18 on the small business tax credits, along with other pertinent aspects of healthcare reform for small businesses. Betsy also got a chance to chat with President Obama during an event held in the backyard of a northern Virginia home on Sept. 22, where they discussed her bookshop’s healthcare situation and how reform will impact her business.

What’s more, a group of small business owners in the Small Business Majority network had the opportunity to participate in a live CNBC town hall event with the president on Monday, Sept. 20. Small business owner Walt Rowen got the chance to personally ask President Obama how he plans to regain the political center and safeguard the country’s economy for future generations.
California insurance exchange bill awaits governor’s signature
Bills recently passed by the California Legislature to create the state’s health insurance exchange are awaiting Governor Schwarzenegger’s signature. As the single most important component of federal healthcare reform for small businesses, the exchange will allow California’s 570,000 small businesses and 2.7 million self-employed entrepreneurs to band together to purchase insurance, lowering health insurance premium costs and expanding access to insurance. Yet the state needs ample time to implement the new law, which is why it’s critical the governor sign the exchange legislation now.
Small Business Majority’s work on clean energy
Following a national opinion poll we released earlier this year about small business owners’ views on comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation, Small Business Majority recently partnered with American Business for Clean Energy and We Can Lead to weigh in on the findings of a new report on the number of jobs lost due to the absence of comprehensive climate and energy policy. The report showed that America shed the potential to create millions of clean energy jobs and continued losing out to competitors like China in clean energy investments.
Recent developments
On Sept. 22, National Policy Director Terry Gardiner and Government Affairs Manager Rhett Buttle hosted a conference call with small business owners and various organizations to discuss the impact of the Small Business Jobs Act on small businesses.
Listen to the call

CEO John Arensmeyer and California Outreach Manager David Chase have held listening tour events across California discussing the new healthcare reform law and what it means for small businesses. On Sept. 14, David participated in an open panel on healthcare reform topics important to small businesses in Pleasanton, and on Sept.17 in Santa Clarita. In August, David joined local business groups and about 50 small business owners in Santa Cruz in a similar discussion on healthcare reform’s impact, and that same month, John spoke to the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, where he discussed tax credits and cost containment with 40 small business people.

On Sept. 8, National Policy Director Terry Gardiner discussed healthcare reform decisions in Washington, DC, in a briefing sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Alliance for Health Reform. And on Aug. 30, Terry was on a panel hosted by the USDA to discuss several aspects of the health insurance exchange’s implementation and how it relates to small businesses.
Watch the presentations

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