President Barack Obama signed a $30 billion small business lending bill into law last Monday. The law sets up a lending fund for small businesses and includes an additional $12 billion in tax breaks for small companies. “It was critical that we cut taxes and make more loans available to entrepreneurs,” Obama said in remarks at the White House. “So today after a long and tough fight, I am signing a small business jobs bill that does exactly that.” Democrats said they backed the bill because small businesses had trouble getting loans after the financial crisis that began in December 2007.
They estimate the incentives could provide up to $300 billion in new small business credit in the coming years and create 500,000 new jobs. Republicans characterized the bill as a smaller version of the unpopular Wall Street bank rescue effort and blocked it in the Senate for weeks until two retiring Republicans broke ranks and voted to end blocking maneuvers. “It’s going to speed relief to small businesses across the country right away,” Obama said. “We’ve got to keep moving forward. That’s why I fought so hard to pass this bill, and that’s why I’m going to continue to do everything in my power to help small businesses open up and hire and expand.”