Now is the time for small businesses to create jobs and grow in Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon said today during a visit to the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce.
During his visit, the Governor promoted the 2012 Missouri Small Business Jobs Bill, which provides a targeted tax deduction for Missouri small businesses that create jobs over the next two years.
"Missouri small businesses are keeping our economy moving forward by creating new jobs and investing in their communities," Gov. Nixon said. "This targeted tax deduction is another valuable tool to help small businesses in the Show-Me State continue to grow and hire new workers. With the opportunities and resources we've put in place for small businesses, now is the time to act."
House Bill 1661, the 2012 Missouri Small Business Jobs Bill, provides a tax deduction for small business owners of $10,000 for each new qualifying job they create or a $20,000 tax deduction if that new job includes health insurance coverage. To be eligible, the small business must have 50 employees or fewer, and the new jobs created must pay a wage that matches either the county or state average wage. Gov. Nixon signed the legislation in June.
Recent national rankings have confirmed that Missouri is leading the country in supporting and growing small businesses. Last month, CNN-Money rated Missouri as the nation's sixth-best state for new business start-ups in its "10 Most Entrepreneurial States for 2011." Missouri was the only Midwestern state in CNN-Money's Top 10.
In addition, Missouri's unemployment rate is currently at a 42-month low, while state exports were up 15.4 percent during the first quarter of 2012 over 2011, a year when the state of Missouri set a record with $14.1 billion in export sales revenue.
"Missouri's economy is moving in the right direction, and small businesses are driving that growth," Gov. Nixon said. "This targeted tax deduction is another important opportunity we're providing to help small businesses invest, grow and create jobs right now in Missouri."
During his visit, Gov. Nixon also highlighted other steps his administration has taken to jumpstart small business growth in the state, including establishing Missouri's Small Business Loan Program. Since the Governor established the program in 2009, the state has awarded more than $1.57 million in loans to 58 businesses across Missouri.
The program, which offers loans of up to $50,000 at three percent interest for 10 years, is open to businesses of 15 employees or fewer. Loans are available to help businesses purchase equipment; hire new workers; stock inventories; and other business expenses.
Since 2009, Gov. Nixon's administration has launched a number of initiatives to help small businesses thrive, including:
Beginning to phase out the franchise tax on all Missouri businesses;
Calling a special session in July 2010 to pass the landmark Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act;
Investing $27 million in small businesses through the State Small Business Credit Initiative;
Increasing funding for job training by 52 percent in 2011, and maintaining that increase in 2012;
Investing millions into programs such as Training for Tomorrow, Innovation Campuses, MoHealthWINS, and Caring for Missourians, to educate students at Missouri community colleges and four-year institutions for high-demand careers.