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Washington Watch - May 30, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Bill Could Provide Small Business Bankruptcy Filing Updates 

Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) are hoping to create a different set of rules for small companies who file for bankruptcy. S. 2370 would create a separate chapter in bankruptcy code to be used by small companies, or those with debts of $2.3 million or less.

The bill would allow businesses to continue to work with lawyers, accountants, etc. employed before the bankruptcy filing as long as those debts remained less than $5,000 each. It would raise the amount of time from 45 days to 90 days to have reorganization plans approved by creditors.

In 1986, Grassley also backed a bill that became law that created a separate chapter of bankruptcy for farmers and commercial fishing operations.


Democrats Release Small Business Legislative Items

In honor of National Small Business Week, congressional Democrats released their list of legislative achievements and current priorities.

Achievements:
Enacting tax cuts for small businesses in 2010 totaling $77 billion over 10 years, such as:
 - raising the small business expensing limit to $500,000;
 - providing a 100% exclusion of capital gains from taxes for investors in small businesses;
 - tax cuts for 100% first-year expensing of capital investment in 2011 and 50% in 2012 (bonus depreciation);
 - payroll tax cut;
 - tax cuts to encourage new business start ups; and
 - tax cuts to help up small businesses afford health insurance coverage.
Passing the Small Business Jobs Act that created the Small Business Lending Fund and the State Small Business Credit Initiative.
Championing the Recovery Act, which gave small businesses tax credits for hiring unemployed workers, helped them make the capital investments essential to their growth, and expanded access to and lowered costs for SBA loans.

Current priorities:
Reauthorizing the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which supported more than 3,000 small business transactions and was responsible for nearly 300,000 jobs added last year. More than 85% of the Ex-Im Bank’s transactions support small and medium-sized businesses.
Passing the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act, which repealed onerous tax withholding requirements, returning capital to small contractors. 
The Make it in America Plan to support small businesses, increase competitiveness, and strengthen manufacturing so that American companies can grow and create jobs here in the US.  This plan includes eight bills that have already been signed into law:
 - U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act [8/11/2010]
 - Protecting American Patents [8/10/2010]
 - Preventing Outsourcing [8/10/2010]
 - Small Business Jobs Act [9/27/2010]
 - Energy Jobs and Training for Veterans Act [10/13/2010]
 - America COMPETES Reauthorization Act [1/4/2011]
 - Leahy-Smith America Invents Act [9/16/2011]
 - Reauthorization of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs [12/31/2011]


Small Business Facts Database

The SBA Office of Advocacy has compiled a lengthy list of small business statistics from federal agencies as well as non-governmental organizations. See the studies, sorted by subject area, by clicking here.


Washington Watch Online

Visit NASE Advocacy to view archived editions of Washington Watch. While you’re there, read the latest updates from the Washington, D.C. office, write your Congressperson, and find out how you can join the fight for micro-business.