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Senate passes small business bill

Senate passes small business bill

Tax relief, access to capital key provisions

The U.S. Senate today approved a multibillion-dollar small business aid bill favored by many in the foodservice industry.

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, which includes provisions that would provide restaurants and other small businesses with tax relief while increasing access to capital, was passed by a vote of 61 to 37.

The legislation now moves to the House, where it is expected to gain rapid approval. It will then be sent to President Obama, who has voiced his support for the measure.

Provisions include:

Access to capital. The Senate measure calls for the establishment of a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund, which would assist small banks seeking to provide loans to small businesses.

The bill also would boost the maximum size of Small Business Administration loans from $2 million to $5 million for SBA 7 (a) loans and from $1.5 million to $5.5 million for 504 loans.

The fees on those loans, which were eliminated in 2009, would continue to be eliminated through the end of 2010, Koenig said.

Tax relief. The Senate bill would allow operators to expense up to $250,000 of the cost of improvements made to their restaurants, which would include investment in new equipment.

The Senate’s passage of the measure follows the defeat earlier this week of a labor-intensive tax reporting requirement included in the nation’s sweeping healthcare reform law.

On Tuesday, senators failed to muster the necessary votes to repeal the 1099 form amendment, which was included in the healthcare reform legislation passed earlier this year. The provision requires businesses to fill out a 1099 form for every non-credit-card business expense over $600, which potentially would create a paperwork burden for operators and other businesses.

The provision is expected to raise more than $17 billion over 10 years to help pay for health reform.

Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., had introduced an amendment to The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act that would fully eliminate the requirement, while Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Fla., sought to eliminate about 90 percent of the additional paperwork. Both failed to pass.

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected].

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