We are currently working our way out of the most serious economic crisis since the Great Depression. From homeowners to small business owners and college students to retirees, all Iowans are feeling the effects of this crisis. Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employers, and provide jobs to nearly 50 percent of our nation’s private labor force. The success of American economic growth hinges on how well we can promote innovation, entrepreneurship, and small business expansion.
Providing Incentives to Employers to Hire Workers
In 2010, President Obama signed into law a bill based on the Back to Work Act, a bill I introduced to spur small business job creation by cutting payroll taxes for small business owners who hired previously unemployed workers. The bill exempts small businesses from paying the employer’s share of the social security tax for the rest of 2010 if they hire workers who have been unemployed for more than 60 days prior to employment. Data shows that over 100,000 Iowans were hired by employers who utilized this tax credit.
Encouraging Small Business Entrepreneurship and Growth
I’m working to help provide Iowa small business owners and entrepreneurs with more help and more resources to expand their businesses and be successful.
This year, I introduced the Main Street Stabilization Act, legislation that would expand services offered at Iowa’s fifteen Small Business Development Centers, support centers that provide customized and confidential business advice to any business, or potential business, in Iowa with 500 employees or less.
I’ve also introduced the Support Our Startups Act, legislation that would expand a popular tax deduction for small business startup expenses. Current law allows entrepreneurs starting a small business to claim a $5,000 income tax deduction when total startup business costs do not exceed $50,000. Braley’s Support Our Startups Act would double the tax deduction to $10,000.
Simplifying Paperwork for Small Businesses
On October 13, 2010 President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act into law. The bill requires the federal government to write documents, such as small business contracting forms and tax returns, in simple easy-to-understand language – a practice that will save small businesses time and money. Small businesses lose time and money because government forms are too complicated. Iowa small businesses deserve a government that reduces barriers to hiring, not creates more burdens through paperwork.
The next step is the Plain Regulations Act, a bill that would require the federal government to write new and updated regulations in clear, simple language. The National Small Business Association estimates that businesses with less than 20 employees pay an estimated $7,600 per employee to comply with government regulations. Any steps we can take to reduce those costs and simplify government regulations means small businesses can use those savings to hire more workers or reinvest in their business.
Helping Veterans Get Back to Work
The best way to thank our veterans and tell them ‘good job’ is to help them find a job when they return home.
For years, I’ve pushed for tax credits for employers who hire veterans. In 2011, the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors tax credits were signed into law. These provisions will help spur the hiring of unemployed veterans and directly help hundreds of Iowa National Guard members who have returned home from overseas deployments.