Obama’s address short on small business

Filed under Commentary

Submitted by the National Small Business Association

Washington, D.C. – The National Small Business Association was pleased to hear President Barack Obama mention the importance of entrepreneurship, the need to eliminate regulations that don’t make sense and the overriding need to reduce the deficit during this evening’s State of the Union address. However, the president provided few specifics and said little about the critical role of small business.

“The president’s call to address the deficit was a welcome one,” stated Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO. “However he failed to tell us how he would get there and he missed a critical opportunity to call for broad tax reform which could kick-start the economy—thereby reducing the deficit—while lessening the single-biggest regulatory burden our economy faces: the tax code.”

Streamlining regulations

On the issue of fairness, President Obama referenced easing restrictions on how small businesses can raise capital, something NSBA has been urging for some time. He went on to underscore his support of streamlining regulations, pointing to his call on federal agencies to conduct a regulatory review. However, he offered nothing new, such as a NSBA-supported provision to require that regulations be written in plain language.

Obama also stated that most new jobs are created by small businesses and startups and underscored the need to address the tax code, yet he failed to acknowledge the vast differences between small and large companies. NSBA had hoped that broad tax reform—and not just those taxes focusing primarily on large, multinational companies—would have been mentioned, given that the overwhelming majority of small business owners pay taxes at the individual income level.

Export capital overlooked

Addressing exporting, Obama discussed the NSBA-supported and recently enacted Free Trade Agreements, but failed to mention the importance to small exporters of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which currently is bogged down without a much-needed long-term reauthorization and increase to its exposure cap.

“As the U.S. economy begins to show signs of life, we must all pay attention to the country’s largest employer, small business,” stated NSBA Chair Chris Holman, CEO of Michigan Business Network.com and president of the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. “As has been the case in every past recession, small business will be the driving force out of this recession.”

NSBA is committed to working with policymakers to ensure that small business priorities continue to be of paramount concern.

NSBA, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2012, advocates on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. The nonpartisan organization reaches more than 150,000 small businesses across the country. For more information, please visit http://nsba.biz/.

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