Senate Passes Small Business Bill

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill Democrats say will benefit small businesses.  It cleared the Senate Thursday on a vote of 61 to 38, with Democrats and two retiring Republicans supporting it:  George Voinovich of Ohio, and George LeMieux of Florida.  Senator Lisa Murkowski joined with the rest of her Republican colleagues and voted “no.”

The House must still pass the bill before it becomes law, but it’s expected to do so easily next week.

The aid package includes $12 billion in tax relief for small businesses, and $30 billion in loans that would go to community banks to give new loans to small businesses.

Alaska Senator Mark Begich supports it, and says that loan money will help more Alaskan businesses get off the ground.

The 30 billion dollar loan fund, which will leverage against private sector another 300 billion available.  Which will allow small biz to
expand, buy inventory, and do what they’ve been wanting to do. Because what we’ve clearly seen is large banks aren’t releasing the capital need to expand.

Begich dismisses Republican criticism that the bill is a bailout fund. He says it will help local community banks at the same time it helps small businesses.  And he notes that the $30 billion is in loans that will have to be paid back.  Begich says the $12 billion in tax relief will create more certainty for small businesses.  He also says a number of business groups that typically support Republicans are backing the bill.

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