NAACP CALLS ON US SENATE TO PASS CRUCIAL BILL TO CREATE NEW JOBS AND EXTEND NEW LINES OF CREDIT

H.R. 5297 WOULD ESTABLISH A $30 BILLION LENDING FUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, PROVIDE $12 BILLION IN TAX BREAKS AND ENHANCES A BROAD ARRAY OF SBA PROGRAMS

In September, 2010, after they return from their August district work period, the United States Senate is scheduled to consider H.R. 5297, the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. This important legislation would establish a $30 billion lending fund for small businesses, provide $12 billion in tax breaks and enhance federal small business programs. These provisions will help small businesses, which are often called "the engine of the economy" by providing small, community banks with capital and incentives to lend to small businesses, so that these businesses can renew a credit line, purchase new equipment or open a new location. In short, this legislation will result in more small businesses getting the credit they need to grow and hire. The House of Representatives passed their version of the same bill in June.

Small businesses are a vital part of the American economy. They currently represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms, employ just over half of all private sector employees and create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP). Of the 23 million nonfarm businesses in 2002, women owned 6.5 million businesses, generating $940.8 billion in revenues, employing 7.1 million workers, and paying $173.7 billion in payroll. Another 2.7 million firms were owned equally by both women and men. Also in 2002, minorities owned 4.1 million firms that generated $694 billion in revenues and employed 4.8 million people. Hispanic Americans owned 6.6 percent of all U.S. businesses; African Americans, 5 percent; Asian Americans, 4.6 percent; American Indians or Alaska Natives, 0.8 percent; and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islanders, 0.1 percent. Veterans made up 14 percent of all owners in 2002, and 7 percent of them were service-disabled. In 2007, the overall rate of self-employment was 10 percent, and the rate was 7.1 percent for women, 7.4 percent for Hispanic Americans, 5.2 percent for African Americans, 10.1 percent for Asian Americans and Native Americans, and 14.4 percent for veterans.

Given the importance of small businesses to the American economy and our economic revitalization, the NAACP strongly supports H.R. 5297, the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 and urges its immediate enactment.

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