Small businesses are the engine that drives the U.S. economy. They represent 99.7 percent of all employers, create half of the nation’s GDP, and are responsible for creating three out of every four new jobs. But when the economy slowed in 2008, small businesses were some of the hardest hit. Restoring the health of small businesses is critical to the full recovery of our economy.
Access to capital in a tight credit market remains a hurdle in growing many small businesses. To help get the investments they need to thrive, President Obama recently signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.
This bill, which passed overwhelmingly in the House, will expand the pool of individuals who can invest in start-ups by engaging in “crowdfunding,” which allows small businesses to raise up to $1 million each year from small-dollar investors through internet-based programs. The JOBS Act also makes it easier for young, high-growth firms to go public through extending the time period to comply with IPO regulations.
While the JOBS Act takes real steps to improve the small business climate, passing another bill, the American Jobs Act, which President Obama proposed this past January, would create almost two million jobs and give a needed boost to our nation’s economy by investing in our failing infrastructure and emerging clean energy industries.
Unfortunately, instead of passing the American Jobs Act, Rep. Eric Cantor is pushing legislation in the House to give away large tax breaks to our nation’s top earners while adding $46 billion to our federal deficit. Cleverly named the “Small Business Tax Cut Act of 2012,” Rep. Cantor’s bill is written to provide a double-digit tax cut to small businesses like professional sports teams, law firms and hedge fund managers but gives no tax break to family-owned businesses where the employees are part owners of the company. In fact, 49 percent of the tax cuts in this bill will go to taxpayers earning over $1 million a year. The bill is not an effective job creation measure and may even make it more complicated for small businesses to file their taxes.
As I continue working to promote job creating bills in Congress, many of Northern Virginia’s over 2,200 small businesses need assistance today. To ensure these business owners have the best tools and information possible, my office will host an event on May 8 entitled “A Small Business Summit: Building Bridges between Northern Virginia and Asia.”
Held here in Falls Church at the James Lee Community Theater, the summit will feature a panel discussion on opportunities to promote our Northern Virginia small businesses overseas by tapping into Asian markets. Economic and business experts will discuss the current economic outlook in Northern Virginia, and provide entrepreneurs and those interested in starting small businesses the tools and networks to expand, and build their relationships with Asian nations through trade.
I encourage all small business owners in Northern Virginia to attend. Registration is now open for small business owners on my website: www.moran.house.gov.
Rep. James Moran (D) is Virginia’s 8th Congressional District Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.