Ms. RICHARDSON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to applaud the Administration for the immediate executive actions that will accelerate our nation's small business growth. There are 28.6 million small businesses in the U.S. and small businesses create two out of every three jobs in the country. In the state of California small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the state's 16 million workers and represent 90% of job growth for high-paying jobs. The statistics are clear, small businesses are the key to economic recovery and continued growth.
Ameliorating the burdens of small businesses stabilizes uncertainty and encourages critical job growth. Five of these initiatives are immediate executive actions that will accelerate Federal payments, reduce paperwork, and make it easier for small firms to access loans and tax credits, and one is a legislative proposal to raise the amount of investment small businesses can expense next year.
Mr. Speaker, let me briefly highlight some of the key initiatives:
(1) Accelerate payments to small business subcontractors: Through the Office of Management and Budget, agencies will be directed to make contract payments along an accelerated timeline to all prime contractors for the next year (typically 15 days after receipt of proper documentation, as opposed to 30 days), with the understanding that those prime contractors will similarly accelerate payments to their small business subcontractors.
(2) Announce support for Section 179 expensing at $250,000 for one year: President Obama is calling on Congress to write legislation to allow small businesses to write off up to $250,000 in capital investments in 2013, such as machinery and equipment, to drive productivity. Without an act from Congress, the expensing limit for small businesses is scheduled to decline to only $25,000 in 2013.
(3) Increase access to capital through SBA's Small Loan Advantage (SLA) 2.0: SBA is re-launching Small Loan Advantage, one of its key small dollar loan products, as SLA 2.0. This revamped program raises the maximum loan amount from $250,000 to $350,000, streamlines the loan process, and makes it easier for lenders to extend loans to small businesses across America.
(4) Launch ``Quick App'' for surety bond guarantees under $250,000: SBA is launching ``Quick App,'' a streamlined application that will eliminate the need for contractors to complete five unnecessary forms to apply for surety bonds. Providing small firms, particularly in the construction industry, streamlined access to these bonds will make it easier for them to compete for and win additional business, which is important to allowing them to expand and create jobs.
(5) Reduce paperwork for SBA's Disaster Loan Program: Cutting the online application from 80 screens to three or four screens (depending on loan type) will allow families and businesses easier and quicker access to support for rebuilding after a disaster.
(6) Align New Markets Tax Credit with the needs of investors in growing small firms: Reforms the existing New Markets Tax Credit that will make it easier for community development entities (CDEs) to attract private sector funds for investment in startups and small businesses operating in lower-income communities. The regulations are designed to encourage CDEs to invest in other types of small local businesses by relaxing the reinvestment requirements for CDEs investing in certain operating businesses. The Treasury Department is also considering regulatory reforms that would further simplify the requirements for these CDEs and intends to publish these for comment in the future.
Entrepreneurs and small businesses are engines of innovation and economic growth; the small businesses in my district are at the forefront of innovation. The diverse innovation of small businesses in my district from aerospace to healthcare will be able to expand market share with the support of these six key initiatives. I will continue to fight for legislation that will support the approximately 16,300 small businesses in my district.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend the Administration for taking the necessary steps to help small businesses expand their export programs and alleviate potential layoffs. I urge my colleagues to build upon the Administration's executive actions and provide more support for small businesses.