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Small businesses split over SOTU

By Carla Tonelli
January 25, 2012

Last night’s State of the Union address from President Barack Obama left small business owners divided over his plans for economic recovery which included eliminating tax perks for companies that offshore jobs and beefing up training stimulus for technology jobs. Here is a roundup of what stakeholders are saying around the blogosphere:

Atlanta small business leaders were skeptical and angry about some of the proposals put forth by Obama and scoffing at what they perceive as a growing regulatory environment while cringing at the thought of a minimum tax on the wealthy, reports WSB Radio.com.

The American Small Business League declares Obama ignored the needs of small businesses; a major contributer to the economy as they create 90 percent of new jobs.  The group that represents 98 percent of U.S. companies (those with fewer than 100 employees) takes particular issue with contract abuse which sees federal small business contracts beign awarded to large businesses. This year that figure is over $6.6 billion.

VentureBeat says Obama recognized startups and entrepreneurs for creating new jobs, and called for reforms that would support everyone who “aspires to become the next Steve Jobs”. Specifically, an end to regulations that prevent entrepreneurs from getting financing, tax breaks for small businesses creating jobs, immigration reform, and more training for technology jobs.

Huffington Post reported that economists and business leaders said the speech offered little that would move the needle in the jobs market. “The best retraining program is called a job,” Kevin L. Kearns, president of the Business and Industry Council, is quoted as saying.

The Washington Post reported small businesses were looking for a remedy for uncertainty. “Especially for small businesses, the threat of new taxes and changing regulations goes right to their bottom line,” Dan Danner, president of the National Federation of Independent Business is reported as saying ahead of the SOTU address.

Speaker of the House John Boehner blogged that despite Obama’s claim that he wants to expand tax relief to small businesses, tax hikes tell a different story.   



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