February 6th, 2010
10:03 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama promotes small businesses, calls for Congress to act

(CNN) - In his weekly radio and Web address Saturday, President Obama promotes the power small businesses have in spurring the nation's economic recovery and again calls for new tax credits for those businesses who increase hiring and wages.

The president also called on Congress to act swiftly to enact his proposals.

"I urge members of both parties: do not oppose good ideas just because it’s good politics to do so. The proposals I’ve outlined are not Democratic or Republican; liberal or conservative. They are pro-business, they are pro-growth, and they are pro-job," he said.

Transcript of remarks after the jump:


Even though our economy is growing again, these are still tough times for America. Too many businesses are still shuttered. Too many families can’t make ends meet. And while yesterday, we learned that the unemployment rate has dropped below ten percent for the first time since summer, it is still unacceptably high – and too many Americans still can’t find work.

But what we must remember at a time like this is that we are not helpless in the face of our difficulties. As Americans, we make our own destiny. We forge our own path. And I am confident that if we come together and put aside the politics that keeps holding us back, we can do that again. We can rebuild this economy on a new, stronger foundation that leads to more jobs and greater prosperity.

I believe a key part of that foundation is America’s small businesses – the places where most new jobs begin.

These companies represent the essence of the American spirit – the promise that anyone can succeed in this country if you have a good idea and the determination to see it through. And every once in awhile, these ideas don’t just lead to a new business and new jobs, but a new American product that forever changes the world. After all, Hewlett Packard began in a garage. Google began as a simple research project.

Government can’t create these businesses, but it can give entrepreneurs the support they need to open their doors, expand, or hire more workers. And that’s what we’ve always done in this country. The folks at Southwest Windpower in Flagstaff, Arizona started their company in a small home. Since getting a loan from the Small Business Administration, they’ve sold 160,000 wind turbines to about 90 different countries, and are hiring even more workers today. When Sam Ko walked into one of the SBA’s small business development centers in Illinois, he didn’t have any business experience at all – just a patent for a new metal manufacturing technology. He was given a loan and a business plan, and today his company is still growing, with offices all over the Midwest.

Last year, the steps we took supported over 47,000 loans to small businesses and delivered billions in tax relief to small business owners, which helped companies keep their doors open, make payroll, and hire workers. But we can and must do more. That’s why I’ve proposed a series of steps this week to support small business owners and the jobs they create – to provide more access to credit, more incentives to hire, and more opportunities to grow and sell products all over the world.

Because financing remains difficult for good, credit-worthy small businesses across the country, I’ve proposed that we take $30 billion from the TARP fund originally used for Wall Street and create a new Small Business Lending Fund that will provide capital for community banks on Main Street. These are the small, local banks that will be able to give our small business owners more of the credit they need to stay afloat. We should also continue to waive fees, increase guarantees, and expand the size of SBA-backed loans for small businesses. And yesterday, I proposed making it easier for small business owners to refinance their mortgages during these tough times.

To give these companies greater incentives to grow and create jobs, I’ve proposed a new tax credit for more than one million small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages, as well as the elimination of all capital gains taxes on small business investment.

Finally, we should provide targeted support to the most innovative small businesses – the ones with the greatest potential to export new goods and products all over the world. A lot of these companies – like the wind turbine manufacturer I mentioned – are the foundation on which we can rebuild our economy to compete in the 21st century. They just need a little help securing the financing they need to get off the ground. We have every incentive to help them do that.

Next week, Congress will start debating many of these proposals. And if anyone has additional ideas to support small businesses and create jobs, I’m happy to consider them. My door is always open. But I urge members of both parties: do not oppose good ideas just because it’s good politics to do so. The proposals I’ve outlined are not Democratic or Republican; liberal or conservative. They are pro-business, they are pro-growth, and they are pro-job. Leaders in both parties have supported similar ideas in the past. So let’s come together and pass these measures without delay. Let’s put more Americans back to work, and let’s give our small business owners the support to do what they’ve always done: the freedom to pursue their dreams and build our country’s future. Thanks for listening.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. jeff

    At what point will the president do his job and not everyone elses. CNN watch out he will soon tell you you are to take a pay cut for not putting him in a good light

    February 6, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  2. chris l

    Obozo and the rest of his anti American Radical Fringe Party should all be arrested and thrown into Gitmo for treason

    February 6, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. katiec

    The ongoing obstruction by the republican party is reaching crucial levels for the survival of our country. It is beyond me how any political party can put their goals, personal gainsover what is best.
    The definition of terrorists are those out to destroy a country by an means possible.
    The republicans are well on their way to becoming our countries most dangerous domestic terrorists.

    February 6, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  4. Scott, Tucson

    This guy can't make up his mind whether to tax the hell out of small business or help them through tax cuts. Is it any wonder that business leaders are sitting on their hands trying to figure out just what obama wants to do?

    February 6, 2010 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. andy

    Obama has wasted a year trying to be a dictator and ram a health care bill of which the majority of Americans do not want.Now he suddenly wants to do the RIGHT thing and help the economic heart beat of America,he is an absolute disgrace to America.I know BLAME IT ON BUSH.His own party can not get far enough away from him.We will see in 3 years the real "yes we can" when we send this dictator packing.I guess the Dems that still support him are concerned without him,they will loose their entitlements and heaven forbid may have to work like a Republican.

    February 6, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. Dean

    I have a small business that supports three employees. I might get a tax breaqk if I hire another employee but it was also bankrupt me. Thanks for nothing Obama.

    February 6, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. Donkey Party

    Naturally the GOP will oppose it, supporting it would mean giving America a chance to succeed, and they don't want any part of that.

    February 6, 2010 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. sunflower

    Wall Street Fat Cats don't like the money being used by neighborhood banks for small business.

    It dosn't matter anyway, this country is so far in the hole because of the Bush/Cheney bank robbery of the century.

    You all better learn to speak Chinese, because the Republicans sold us out.

    How did we get here?? No bid contracts, tax cuts for the rich, 2 wars that were not paid for, and corporate welfare.

    It's too late to change this country around. If this country was a business, a larger business would buy us out... Let's see... what country would that be??? Who owns our debt??? CHINA!!!!

    All you ignorant, selfish, fat cat, Republicans created this mess, and there is no way out. Conratulations on a job well done.

    February 6, 2010 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. sunflower

    Wall Street Fat Cats don't like the money being used by neighborhood banks for small business.

    It dosn't matter anyway, this country is so far in the hole because of the Bush/Cheney bank robbery of the century.

    You all better learn to speak Chinese, because the Republicans sold us out.

    How did we get here?? No bid contracts, tax cuts for the rich, 2 wars that were not paid for, and corporate welfare.

    It's too late to change this country around. If this country was a business, a larger business would buy us out... Let's see... what country would that be??? Who owns our debt??? CHINA!!!!

    All you ignorant, selfish, fat cat, Republicans created this mess, and there is no way out. Congratulations on a job well done.

    February 6, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Death Assurance Companies

    Interpretation:Having sold all the good jobs to India and China for 16 plus years,you may as well buy yourself a hotdog cart and start your own business.Of course,that is if all the good spots havent been taken by all the Visa people that have been able to get in an take your jobs to cut wages in half.The race to the bottom continues.

    February 6, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    The only "proposal" we need from Obama is to stop the insane spending!

    How this idiot can simultaneously crush the economy with insane levels of taxation and spending, and then claim he's trying to help small businesses escapes me.

    February 6, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  12. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Pres. Carter did this very same thing with little sucess. What will happen is businesses will laid off their present workers in order to hire new workers and get their tax credit. This policy will only cause more pain for main street not bring growth for new jobs.
    Next I bet we hear about the O-ceda program to improve employment.
    Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results is insanity. Don't buy into this.
    Think if they are in office then vote them out no matter what party they belong to this fall, and in every election after that until they return to being servants of the people once more.

    February 6, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  13. Doug

    My President Obama, I helped put you in office. Your memory is failing you like your overpaid staff and czars paying you great homage for doing mostly nothing. If you remember, you were not going to make the same mistakes that were then discussed. You are now the problem with your beautiful teteprompters working 24/7 giving the same speech. "I did not create this, you can't blame me, I said so, I won the election, I have seen the world". Please look around you and fire somebody, because it CAN'T be working the way it continues.

    February 6, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. Denna

    I hope the Democrats go with the president on this. It is doubtful that the Rethugs will as they can't afford to sign onto anything that will help the American people as that would make President Obama look good. It is in the best interest of the Republicans to let America suffer until the 2012 elections. Look how they successfully blocked healthcare reform, which the American people wanted, until they didn't want it. I believe that if President Obama could get some genuine cooperation, America would be on the rise again.

    February 6, 2010 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Independent

    Maybe they have finally realized someone has to pay for the wealth redistrubution and the welfare programs.

    February 6, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. Roger

    Once again, Obama's words are inconsistent with his actions. Once a proponent of mandating health care burdens for small businesses, undoubtedly a supporter of raising minimum wages, and certainly opposed to eliminating estate taxes; now he want sot do things to foster the success of small businesses.

    February 6, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  17. Ronda Daniels

    President Obama is doing the best he can to clean up the Republican eight years of mess. Republicans have been in the White House filling up their pockets with cash living the high-life and some Democrats have been also. President Obama comes from humble family back ground and in my opinion he is less motivated with filling his pockets and wants America to take it stand in the world as a leader. How can we succeed as a country? when we are devided by race and economic status. Race should not matter when we die we all have to face the same fate answer to a higher authority.

    February 6, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. Sam Sixpack

    This guy wants to spend a trillion dollars more than the government takes in next year on pet projects. He wants to use another 0.03 trillion dollars to help small business. This economic "health food" is 97% fat.

    February 6, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Robert

    So here he is making a very Republican proposal... tax breaks for businesses (albeit small businesses) to create jobs. But unlike a Democrat, he is actually identifying where the funding is to come from.

    For that, the Repugs oppose this. Gee, I mean we can't have any kind of responsibility when making these proposals. It's not the norm to identify how the government will pay for these tax credits..

    February 6, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. stevegee

    If Obama truly wanted to help small businesses, he'd stop pushing for bigger government. Cut taxes, cut spending, cut government payrolls, cut, cut, cut!

    Free enterprise is the only path to lasting prosperity for our people and our country.

    February 6, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  21. Mike

    The Ebb and Flow of the National Economy

    I think it is high time that the politics of "we say, they say" is ended.

    There should be a neutral referee organization to fact check numbers and claims presented. In its absence Republican-leaning people will merely believe them, and Democrat-leaning people will merely believe them. In the absence of credible statements, Independents will merely believe that the entire apparatus is broken.

    Someone neutral must run and report annual statistics (budget surplus or deficit, trade deficit, unemployment percent, monthly jobs created or lost, and so forth) to demonstrate the continuity, or connectedness year after year, of the performance of our economy. In that way it will make it clear that the measures being taken now address a situation that was generated before.

    For example take monthly jobs created or lost: this shows that the highest number of monthly jobs lost occurred in January 2009. Ever since the trend has been a reduction in the jobs lost each month. At this time the jobs lost is a small number, and it signals a time coming very soon when jobs will be created.

    It takes a long time to turn around a complex system such as a national economy. The monthly jobs lost/created statistics over the last year show that the economy has indeed been trending in a favorable direction.

    February 6, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. Rebecca Olmos

    I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a teacher. I am proud to be a Democrat. When we elected President Obama to office, he assured us he would tackle the problems. He has done this and the REPUBLIC PARTY and its mouthpeices of hatred, doom and gloom, have continued to assail every action that addresses the issues that spiral our economy out of control. Special interest groups supporting pharacuetical companies, insurance companies, unethical banking and investment groups, media conglomerats, and the nasty ,under-handed republican gameplayers continue to undermine the public's
    belief in our President and his recovery efforts. The problems we have today began when we allowed our presidency to be bought by the previous administrations and the Bush regimes' philosophy of the'rich get richer' and the 'poor get poorer". The Bushes guaranteed their long-arm of power through their stacking the Supreme Court. The Bush dynasty SC Justices' recent political contributions debacle, is verification of the cold, hard facts that " deregulation" and ethical controls set in place by the constitution and previous generations have been undermined. I will not be apathetic or stand by silently while I still have breath. Thank you, President Obama for speaking the TRUTH. I resent that CNN has the Tea Party debacle as the #1 news story. The problems we face today are from our silent acceptance of the news media's false representation of 'news'. I challenge Americans to view the old movie "Network". We, as a nation have realized fiction becoming reality. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work Turn-off T.V.s. Our kids are fighting a war to keep us free. Let's fight on the home-front so they wil have a free nation ttat honors their sacrifces.

    February 6, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. Gary

    If you want to help small business, get government out of the way, stop spending tax payer money.

    February 6, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    You know, no wonder I get in trouble. Since when does Ed Henry talk about his "hood?" Aren't you professionals? No wonder I get in trouble, I am a bad influence on some of you guys, don't take me seriously, you know?

    That's right I can't get even comment on Adult Swim on the forums, they're seeing what I'm typing like if I cared or what was happening. It freaked me out cause they do think I am in fact a bad guy, I wish I was a criminal. But I do find it hilarious, very hilarious, that is quite humurous, yet quite exquisite! I even forgot who I used to write to on e-mail, until Showbiz Tonight I seen, then I remembered I wrote to them. And Nancy as well, I forgot all about them, sadly. People are a bunch of morons...

    "An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind."-Buddha

    (Morons...). Tell Ed if he really wants to work on his stomach, so push-ups instead, it works for the best to keep balance. Sit ups are good but not that good, is less effective. Do more Turkish get ups, that's really work on your stomach.

    Hey, you can take my advice, I ain't your daily psychic or adviser, ask the Pres for that.

    February 6, 2010 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    Average American February 5th, 2010 5:35 pm ET

    AMEN JT.. but young man (or young lady), take a breath every once and a while. I'm guessing here, but I think you're too young to develop high blood pressure. Stay in school, study hard, work to make the world a better place. You have a great life in front of you! God bless you!
    ------------------------------–
    I want to thank you very much; I'm a young man. I have an idea regarding the economy, tax reform, our debt problem, and the energy crisis we are in. Here it is:
    For all investments, we must come up with an investment total; this will come up with an investment sum; that number is 25 trillion dollars. That number is huge; there is no denying that, but if we are to sustain a US clean energy independent economy, that is what we must do if it is to be accomplished. This investment needs to be divided up to a 50 year time span. We must invest 3 trillion in solar over a period of 50 years, 3 trillion in wind over the next 50 years, 6 trillion in geothermal energy over the next 50 years, 3 trillion in hydrogen in the next 50 years, 4 trillion in biomass/ biofuel energy over the next 50 years, 2 trillion in natural gas over the next 50 years, and 2 trillion in nuclear technology in the next 50 years; including 2 trillion in offshore oil in the next 50 years.
    I think implementing a form of a Progressive Tax System is necessary to pay for this; >$1million a year (45% tax on yearly income),> 500 thousand- 1million (40%), >250 thousand- 500 thousand (30%), >100 thousand- 250 thousand (15%), >75 thousand- 100 thousand (10%), >50 thousand- 75 thousand (5%), >35 thousand- 50 thousand (2-3%), >10 thousand- 35 thousand (1%), 10 thousand or less will pay a very little tax (<1%).
    Progressive taxes attempt to reduce the tax incidence of people with a lower ability-to-pay, as they shift the incidence increasingly to those with a higher ability-to-pay. The population in the US after 2060, will be over 400 million, with the workforce being about 230 million; 25 trillion investment/ 230 million will equal $108,695.65 for each worker and their families to spend or invest on anything that will reform our economy to clean, renewable energy. The investments paid by the Progressive Tax System will continue from then on according to the population/ income per person of the United States to be withdrawn for a period of one year every 50 years. We could solve our debt problem as well with the Progressive Tax System I have in mind. A program has to be created to hire people to make sure that money collected in the Progressive Tax System goes directly to the investments I described above; the money left after the 25 trillion, will be used to pay for other programs in the United States.
    For each income group, for each person, half of their taxes will go to the investments as I described above, while the other half goes to other government programs like Medicare, Social Security, and on reforming schools to teach environmental friendliness better.

    February 6, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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