After months of sometimes-contentious debate, on Thursday, September 16, the Senate passed the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act (H.R. 5297). The bill now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, where it is likely to pass, according to media reports. The legislation is expected to create 500,000 jobs, according to CNN Money.
CNN Money reported that the bill aims to encourage hiring by making credit more available to small businesses. Loans have decreased by 17.8 percent since the second quarter of 2008, the article noted, with the overall value of those loans falling by $60 billion to $650 billion, according to data from the FDIC.
The Small Business Majority (SBM) noted in July that the Small Business Jobs Act “would do more to support [small businesses] than any bill has in years.” SBM noted that the bill “addresses several fundamental problems facing small businesses – a lack of access to loans and a heavy tax burden. Big banks are still not lending to small businesses, which is one of the main reasons small businesses have been unable to put some of the 15 million unemployed Americans back to work.”
SBM noted several of the bill’s provisions that would help small businesses, including expanded and enhanced SBA loan programs; an expansion of community bank lending for small businesses; $12 billion in tax cuts; tax equity for the 22 million self-employed to help them afford health insurance; export promotion support for small businesses; and business expansion incentives.