Growing our Small Businesses
America was built on the backs of small businesses, and today small businesses are still at the heart of the American workforce. In fact, the Kaufman Foundation showed that nearly all net new jobs over the last thirty years were created by companies less than five years old. Our country was made great by innovative visionaries who took transcendent ideas and built them into companies that turned America into a world leader in innovation and technology. As a lifelong businessman who has helped start small businesses across the country, including right here in Hampton Roads, I know the important role that entrepreneurs play in our communities. However, as our economy slowed, small businesses were the ones hurt most. We need a renewed focus on supporting their entrepreneurial spirit by creating certainty in the marketplace and providing the access to capital that is critical to their success.
Creating Certainty in the Marketplace
Solving our Deficits:
One of the biggest challenges facing small businesses is the uncertainty in the marketplace. We need to put together a long-term, balanced deficit reduction plan that gets our fiscal house in order and allows us to start focusing on investing in infrastructure, education, and research and development. This plan will reestablish our credit rating and give small businesses the confidence they need to grow their companies.
Creating a Balanced Tax System:
As part of solving our deficits, we need a fair and balanced tax system. For far too long small businesses have paid more than their fair share of taxes. While at the same time large corporations, with huge accounting departments, used loopholes to avoid those same taxes. We need to eliminate billions of dollars worth of tax deductions for oil companies and eliminate unnecessary loopholes that allow the biggest companies in the world like General Electric to pay zero taxes.
Building a Future:
One of the toughest things about starting a small business is the amount of capital required to get the company off the ground. Often times, small businesses are not profitable during their first year, placing an economic strain on entrepreneurs. That is why I support tax-preferred small business savings accounts, which will incentivize small business owners to save money and help prepare them for potential economic downturns.
Providing Businesses the Tools They Need to Succeed:
Access to Capital:
The biggest losers in the credit crunch were small businesses. Banks have begun lending again to large corporations but are not providing the access to capital that small businesses rely on. We need to encourage entrepreneurs to go after their dreams and start companies or expand the ones they already have. However, the only way we will be able to do that is by providing smart companies with the access to capital they need. That is why I support the bi-partisan Start Up 2.0 Act, which will expand research and development tax credits for startups, help off-set employee taxes and exempt certain small business stocks from capital gains taxes.
High Tech Tax Credits:
Even as a world leader in technology, we must always be thinking of how we can continue to innovate and improve. That starts with small businesses. I support legislation that will provide a 25% tax credit for certain technology and biotechnology small businesses.
Increase Access for Crowd Funding:
Small businesses often struggle with the ability to raise capital for new ideas. I support the President’s plan to loosen regulation to allow small businesses looking to raise less than $1 million in capital to use crowd funding as a way to bring in a number of smaller investors.
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