Small businesses are the engine of the American economy; providing about half of the private sector jobs in Indiana and across the country. Unfortunately, the current economic downturn has been particularly tough on small business owners and their employees, who are struggling to keep their doors open as consumer spending declines, health care costs rise, and credit markets remain tight.
As a member of the House Small Business Committee, I understand that the strength of our economy is directly related to the strength of our small businesses. We cannot hope to get this economy moving again without addressing the unique challenges entrepreneurs face in starting and growing their businesses. And one of the most important things we can do is provide small business owners with tax relief to help them weather the economic storm and encourage them to invest in their companies and employees.
So this week, I supported a package of tax cuts designed to help businesses of all sizes. For example, the bill extended the popular Research and Development Tax Credit, which encourages businesses to invest in the research and development of new medicines, technologies, and other cutting-edge products. The credit can cover up to 20% of qualified spending and will be extended through 2010.
It also extends the current 15-year depreciation deduction for restaurant and retail establishments. Tax relief measures like this encourage business owners to invest in their companies, their employees, and their communities.
These are just a few of the many examples of tax relief Congress has provided for businesses and families in these tough economic times. Rest assured, I will continue to support common sense proposals that put money back in Hoosiers' pockets as we work to turn our economy around.