June 11th, 2010
11:16 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama pushes for Hill passage of small business agenda

President Obama met Friday with small business owners.

President Obama met Friday with small business owners.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama turned the spotlight to his small business agenda Friday, urging congressional passage of legislation meant to boost federal assistance to a key segment of the economy.

Among the proposals highlighted by the administration is a $30 billion government lending program offering capital to community banks that boost their small-business lending. Banks with assets worth less than $10 billion would be able to borrow money from the Treasury at a dividend rate as low as 1 percent provided they use the cash to make more small-business loans this year than they did in 2009.

Other proposals being pushed by the president include an elimination of capital gains taxes on certain small business investments.

"Ensuring that small businesses can thrive is about more than our economic success," Obama said at the White House after a meeting with small business leaders. "It's about who we are as a people. It's about a nation where anybody with a good idea and a willingness to work can succeed. That's the promise of America."

Legislation enacted in March included new business tax credits for hiring additional workers, as well as a measure allowing companies to write off, instead of depreciate, new equipment.

Many small businesses, however, are still struggling to regain their footing in the wake of the recent recession. The Commerce Department reported Friday that retail sales fell for the first time in eight months in May, widely missing analyst expectations.

Total retail sales fell 1.2 percent to $362.5 billion last month, compared with April's upwardly revised 0.6 percent increase. It was first decline since last September, when retail sales fell 2.3 percent.

Data from the Small Business Administration (SBA) show that small companies have generated 64 percent of the net new jobs every year over the past 15 years. Those businesses, however, were particularly hard hit by the economic downturn. A Senate report last year found that American businesses with fewer than 20 employees have suffered steeper job losses than larger companies.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Here it comes !!

    Republicans will want massive change, time-consuming, then they'll vote NO anyway.

    The pattern is so obvious that Ray Charles can see it.

    June 11, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. Dave

    The term "small business" is exactly what he wants. However, he seems to forget that someone has to pay for his big government projects.

    June 11, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    This is great because there are so many women who own small business that have been very successful but the economy has hurt them. Get on board women, President Obama is doing the right thing to help you. Have you heard any Republican man or woman talk about women and their business who need help, the answer is NO.

    June 11, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  4. Gil

    But why help small businesses when all they do is put down the president and the democrats who are trying to hlep them and support of the Party of NO?

    June 11, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. PalmReader

    I much preferred it when Bush was in office. Really. Our only presidential concern during the Bush years was where he and Cheney were hiding out . . . nothing much to excite.

    We now have a president who is truly working hard to bring our country back to a semblance of what it was prior to Bush's reign and the media is going bonkers.

    Between Bush and Obama . . . well, no brainer, that.

    Obama all the way!

    June 11, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. J. Richter

    It is clear tha Obama is getting results
    – 750K jonb losses in Jan 2009 now job gains 12 months later. This off a reecssion that is next deepest since the great depression and included financial industry collapse, housing collapse, job collapse and even more energy dependence (than the 80s Reagan recession that was less deep and took 24months to turn positive off its bottom).
    – GDP losses of -6% in the last quarter of 08 to +3% this last quarter. A 10% swing
    – Dow at 6500 at its bottom in March now over 10,000 creating $8 trillion in equity for Americans.
    – Financial industry collapsed that even some Reps were mentioning the nationalization word now more stable.
    Except for the Fox watchers and those predisposed to hate the man, he is not perfect but he is acting and getting impressive results. At least we are getting something for what we are spending. The 2003 2.5 trillion tax break bought us negative job growth by 2008 and a crashed everything. When our economy is whole we will start paying back what we owe as we should have done after the 2000 surplus and a prosperous economy instead of giving away to the rich and corporations.

    June 11, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. thor

    I think Obama wants to take a census every month between now and when he leaves office.Thats the only way he seems to be able to create jobs.

    June 11, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  8. Steve- Illinois

    This is yet another joke! Jobs have been ignored! Small business has been ignored! The majority of the stimulus spent thus far has gone to keeping govenment workers, in government jobs! The government does not creat anything! $30 billion for small business is peanuts! Small business has been responsible for the majority of all new jobs for many years, and Obama is just now looking to stimulate them? At the same time he has imposed higher costs on these very same business? Does anyone in this administration understand the basic economoics of running a small business? Remember the "jobs summit"? The nations largest small business organizations were not even invited to it!
    This group couldn't run a lemonade stand successfully if you gave them the lemonade for free!!!
    But then, most of those working in this administration have never actually run anything!!!

    Common Sense!!!

    June 11, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. valwayne

    Obama and the Democrats acting like they want to help small business. They've done more in the past 1 1/2 years to destroy the ability of small businesses to grow and hire people than all the Presidents and Congresses of the past 100 years. What was it Reagan use to say was the scariest phrase in the English language: "Hi, I'm from the Government, and I want to help"!

    June 11, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Roadweary

    "The promise of America?"

    Isn't your promise that those who work hard to succeed will be taxed to pay for those who choose to sit on their butt and wait for their entitlement?

    June 11, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Enough

    Too bad Obama can't buy a clue with all the money he is wasting on worthless projects............we don't need loans, we need work, business....and with his policies it isn't going to happen. Giving us a loan that we can't repay is NOT the solution. Our laid off employees won't be hired back any time soon, we only hope we can survive until 2012 when the mistake of 2008 is corrected. This change is killing the country.

    June 11, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Enough

    Republicans should vote NO on another pork filled waste of tax payer dollars that we don't have............and as a small business owner, this isn't what we need, we need business and that won't happen until Obama and his policies are removed. Apparently many here don't understand how the wheel goes round and it is painfully obvious our naive president doesn't have a clue either..............they can't teach you this in school.

    June 11, 2010 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  13. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Typical Democrat idiocy... The "government lending program" taxes money away from people and small business and then offers to lend businesses the very money that was just taxed away. Ridiculous. Why not just lower taxes?

    The answer, of course, is that the "government lending program" keeps the government in control, and government, particularly Dems, is all about being in control, and staying that way.

    June 11, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Get real!

    This is all smoke and mirrors people. Great, he's giving the small banks some money to loan. That's only half the battle. How about an incentive to federal agencies to purchase products and services from small business?? We keep getting told we are too small a company, there is no way we can do the job. How the heck would they know, THEY'VE NEVER GIVEN US A CHANCE!!

    If this administration truely wanted to help small business he'd mandate that the government must contract with a certain percentage of small business. And since more than 50% of the businesses are small it needs to be a big number; 10 or so percent just won't cut it!

    June 11, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. SLP

    Okay all of you puppet Obama lovers, here it is. All this is is smoke and mirrors. This president could care less about small business. He simply doesn't care. He doesn't care about you. He is all about power and control. There is a growing civil unrest in this country, and I am afraid that it is going to explode in the near future. There will only be one group standing when it is all said and done. It will either be the radical progressives or us, the American People. For those of you who worship Obama, let me just say this. Those of us who see him for what he is, will do what we can to save all of us. That includes you idiots who can't see past the nose on your face due to your hatred for Bush. The radical progressives that Obama runs with want nothing more than revolution. I am talking about the in the street, bloody, people getting killed kind of revolution. However, we will not take back our country that way. We will do it through our votes, our voices, and our faith in God. All of you call the Tea Party movement a bunch of terrorist racists. Well, actually, Obama and his gang are the ones you should be scared of. They have actually gotten you to believe that. Wake up before it is too late!

    June 11, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. buckwheat

    A little late dont ya think? Bottom line is anyone who voted for Obama is a fool!

    June 11, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. gt

    thats a joke... all he cares about is big union labor votes,,, he dont care about the little man,,,

    June 11, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. Mark from Louisiana

    what good is a loan program for small business when we have NO CUSTOMERS............................

    June 11, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. g

    Incredible. First he tries to nationalize the banking industry, the housing industry, and the automotive industry. Now he is trying to nationalize the small business markets. The only thing he has managed to do with the rest fo the democratic socialists is health care. In the process of doing that, we now will have everyone paying into a single payer system with very little to a fraction of the coverage we currently have through our companies. This will force the companies to abandon the billions they spend on health coverage for the ver low cost of the annual fines. He failed to nationalize the banks as they quickly gave back the money given to them, he failed to nationalize the auto makers as they also rapidly gave back the money, they are failing at nationalizing wall street and they will fail at nationalizing small business in the same fashion as he is failing to step up to the plate on the gulf oil situation. You people are so blind to take notice that he has tripled the national debt in less than a year in office and continues to spend like there is no end. Where is that stimulus money that only 1/3 got released? Companies are still laying off in support of outsourcing to China and India. Unemployment rate is down only because people are frustrated with the crap it takes to file for unemployment and the benefits there are being cut. Increase in Welfare recepiants has risen. People are still not buying homes, the banks are still not lending. Where do you people get that the economy is getting better? You must be doing the obama math. All his programs so far that haven't failed have cost generations of Americans trillions of dollars. At what cost to small business owners will this cost? In 1 year in office, this man has spent more than any other president in the history of this country, done more for deleting the middle class than any other president of this country, and has shamed americans abroad as he sends hitman Hillary out to do his dirtry work in the world. Even his champion news networks are turning against him for his failure to step up to the plate and take charge of the oil disaster as he is out "looking for someone's ass to kick". Give me a break. Mr. Obama has only taken the time to visit Louisiana to take the photo ops. He has always and will always be the photo op president. This man has done more damage to this country and worked hard to turn it over to China and his radical muslim brothers. Hoepfully this country will get the old deadbeats out of congress this election and someone will be smart enough to impeach this idiot and put a stop to his attempts to socialize America. But then again, you idiots put him in office with his promises of a brighter tomorrow and cleaning up Washington while he pocketed your money. He is not any better than his fellow Chicago leader Blagoyavich. Mr. Obama's Chicago coruptness follows him to Washington and helps the fellow dead beat corrupt democrats and republicans that have been in office all their lives and don't know how to make an honest living s they rip off their fellow americans.

    June 11, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. Four and The Door

    After throwing literally hundreds of billions of dollars at the biggest businesses and not seeing any unemployment improvements, this new strategy will certainly give better results.

    June 11, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    It will be interesting to see how the Republicans twist this idea into a disaster "for the country" The only disaster around is the Republican Party and its hatred of any idea not their own.

    June 11, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Sone thing to thin about.

    I think all presidents work in the office. The thing that this president does different from the rest is to tackle all of the things that has been hendering this country from being a great nation. I mean not just by words from our mouth but from people mouths around the world. Were no longer a paper champs but now we are a real champs with a vision.

    The bible says with out the vision the people parish.

    June 11, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. ajax

    He going to let small businesses apply for student loans,that way they want be required to pay them back and the government will just write the loans off.

    June 11, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. james

    lol bush went through the tec recession and 9-11 and katrina and this recession you call the worst since the great depression. if you remember it started in 12-07 and when did obama took office 1-20-09 and by July obama said the recession was getting better. i guess what bush did before he left office started to work then cause obama wasn't in office long enough for his plans took affect

    June 11, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. Michael

    Good idea, to help small business.
    However, it is way too late for the 1,000's "small" businesses who bit the dust while we were bailing out "big" business. Sad really.
    I will always remember George Bush for his "legacy" he has left America with.

    June 11, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |