e must meet our economic challenges the way we successfully meet all our challenges by working together as partners, all of us doing our part. In each of the last three years, American entrepreneurs have started a record number of new small businesses ... When we are united, America never loses
President Bill Clinton
President Clinton recognizes that Americaís thriving economy begins with our smallest businesses.
Small businesses employ 53 percent of American workers, contribute 47 percent of sales, and account for over half of the Gross Domestic Product.
The President understands that it takes courage to start something new, to carve a reality out of a dream often with few resources, sometimes in difficult surroundings and in an economy that demands much of its participants. President Clinton has fought to improve the economic security of small businesses. The President will continue to nurture and support the powerful economic engine of the small business sector through policies of fiscal responsibility and wise investment. President Clinton is helping small businesses meet their challenges by:
Improving access to capital. Through the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, which President Clinton signed, the SBA has more than doubled the number of loans made under its cornerstone 7(a) Guaranteed Business Loan Program, increasing from 27,000 loans in 1992 to 57,000 in 1995. Encouraging small business creation. President Clintonís wise economic policies have cut the deficit by over 60 percent, helping to lower interest rates and to free money for private investment. A record number of new small businesses have been created in each of the last three years. Providing tax relief for small business. Since 1993, the President has provided tax relief to small businesses by raising the amount of property a small business can expense annually by 75 percent, from $10,000 to $25,000. Listening to small business owners. President Clinton has taken action on the vast majority of the 60 recommendations made by the 2,000 delegates to the June 1995 White House Conference on Small Business, with 15 of the recommendations already enacted into law. Investing in worker training. Recently, the President signed legislation that permits employees to exclude up to $5,250 in employer-paid tuition from their taxable income, so that continued training remains affordable. In addition, the Presidentís Worker Training Tax Credit, part of the FY 1997 budget proposal, offers a 10 percent tax credit to small firms that sponsor employee training. Expanding access to new markets. The Clinton Administration has opened 15 U.S. Export Assistance Centers to provide one-stop access to export information, marketing assistance, and export-specific financing. Expanding womenís access to capital. Women business owners often must use credit cards and personal resources to finance or maintain their businesses. Under President Clinton, the SBA has nearly quadrupled the number of government-guaranteed loans to women-owned businesses with no decrease in loans to other business owners. Increasing federal procurement contracts for women. In 1994, President Clinton signed the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act that challenges all government agencies to purchase at least 5 percent of their goods from women-owned businesses. Expanding the Small Business Administrationís Womenís Demonstration project. Under President Clinton, the SBA has added 19 new centers nationwide to its Womenís Demonstration Program. Creating a forum to address womenís economic issues. The Presidentís Inter-Agency Committee on Womenís Business Enterprise comprises senior officials from 10 federal agencies, ensuring that womenís economic issues are addressed at the highest policy-making levels. Raising the health-insurance deduction for the self-employed. President Clinton increased the self-employed health insurance deduction from 30 percent to 80 percent. Reducing regulations and paperwork. The SBA has cut in half the total number of pages of its regulations. The Presidentís regulatory reform policies allow small business owners to cure first-time violations without penalty, eliminate paperwork previously required from small businesses, and allow small firms to apply fines to correct violations. Streamlining and improving the Small Business Administration. Under President Clinton, the SBA has cut its staff by 35 percent, while doubling its loan volume. Under one program, the application for an SBA 7(a) Guaranteed Loan used to be an inch thick, requiring 5 to 6 weeks for approval; the form is now only one page long and takes 3 days to approve.
Building on Our Progress
President Clinton believes Americaís more than 22 million small businesses are instrumental in driving our nationís successful economy. The Clinton Administration has made it a top priority to implement their growth and development. The President will continue to pursue polices that benefit American small businesses.
Simplifying tax forms. The Clinton Administrationís Simplified Tax and Wage Reporting System (STAWRS) is working with Federal and State agencies to simplify, unify, and streamline tax reporting and reduce the paperwork burden for small businesses.
Introducing a new small business pension plan. Today only 24 percent of workers in businesses with fewer than 100 employees have pensions. President Clintonís National Employee Savings Trust (NEST) would provide benefits similar to those of a 401(k) pension plan and would be simple to create and operate.
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