Promises about Small Business on The Obameter

Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups

"Barack Obama understands that small businesses are the engines of our economy, and he will eliminate all capital gains taxes on investments in small and start-up firms."

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Increase minority access to capital

"Strengthen Small Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms."

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Establish a small business initiative for rural America

"Will support entrepreneurship and spur job growth by establishing a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America. The program will provide training and technical assistance for rural small business, and provide a 20 percent tax credit on up to $50,000 of investment in small owner-operated businesses. This initiative will put the full support of the nation's economic policies behind rural entrepreneurship."


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Implement "Women Owned Business" contracting program


"Will implement the Women Owned Business contracting program that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, but has yet to be implemented by the Bush Administration." The program seeks to get more women-owned businesses to compete for federal contracts.

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Create more public-private business incubators for poor communities

"Obama and Biden will invest $250 million per year to increase the number and size of incubators in disadvantaged communities throughout the country."

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Expand loan programs for small businesses

Expand "the Small Business Administration's loan and micro-loan programs which provide start-up and long-term financing that small firms cannot receive through normal channels."

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Create a National Health Insurance Exchange


Create a "National Health Insurance Exchange to help Americans and businesses purchase private health insurance."

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Create a small business tax credit to help with health premiums

"Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to provide small businesses with a refundable tax credit of up to 50 percent on premiums paid by small businesses on behalf of their employees. To be eligible for the credit, small businesses will have to offer a quality health plan to all of their employees and cover a meaningful share of the cost of employee health premiums."

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Reimburse employer health plans for a portion of catastrophic costs

"Reimburse employer health plans for a portion of the catastrophic costs they incur above a threshold if they guarantee such savings are used to reduce the cost of workers' premiums."

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Change federal rules so small businesses owned by people with disabilities can get preferential treatment for federal contracts.


"Barack Obama and Joe Biden would direct the Small Business Administration to amend regulations under the Small Business Act that provide preferences in federal contracting to small businesses owned by members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups to include individuals with disabilities."

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Create a fund for international small and medium enterprises (SME)


"Building on the growing evidence that micro finance works, an Obama administration will provide initial capital for an SME Fund. Administered through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an independent U.S. government agency, the government will provide seed capital matched by a larger portion from the private sector. The SME Fund will be designed to provide seed capital and technical assistance to catalyze the establishment of job-creating small and medium enterprises, and to build the capacity of entrepreneurs to translate their ideas into viable businesses, including through the creation of regional 'SME Universities' supported by America's business schools."


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Reform the Small Business Administration's ability to respond after disasters

"Will fix the Small Business Administration (SBA) bureaucracy so that it can step in during a disaster and provide assistance." The SBA was quickly overwhelmed with applications following Katrina.


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Strengthen anti-monopoly laws to favor independent farmers


"Obama will strengthen anti-monopoly laws and strengthen producer protections to ensure independent farmers have fair access to markets, control over their production decisions, and fair prices for their goods."


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Raise the small business investment expensing limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009

Will provide "temporary business tax incentives through 2009. The February 2008 stimulus bill increased maximum Section 179 expenses to $250,000 but this expires in December 2008. This provision will encourage all firms to pursue investment in the coming months, but will particularly benefit small firms which generally have smaller amounts of annual property purchases and so choose to expense the cost of their acquired property."

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