Washington DC – The U.S. Senate passed the Small Business Jobs Act Thursday by a vote of 61 to 38. The legislation includes two programs modeled on legislation introduced by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley: The Small Business Lending Fund and the Small Business Jump Start Act.
“Small businesses in Oregon and across the country have been waiting on the starting blocks, ready to expand and create jobs,” Merkley said. “With today’s vote, we fired the starter pistol and soon small businesses have greater access to the capital and tax relief they need to put people to work. This small business jobs bill is great news for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and job seekers.”
The legislation includes the Small Business Lending Fund, a program first introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) last year as the Bank on Our Communities Act. The fund will help community banks provide as much as $300 billion in additional lending for small businesses on Main Street – and because the fund provides money for loans that must be paid back – it won’t cost taxpayers a dime. According to the Congressional Budget Office, providing additional capital to community banks will save taxpayers $1 billion over ten years.
The bill also includes a provision based on Merkley’s Small Business Jump Start Act that will give new businesses a financial boost in their first year. The provision doubles the small business start-up expenses deduction from $5,000 to $10,000, increases the threshold for the deduction phase-out from $50,000 to $60,000, and is estimated to create 34,000 jobs per year.