380pxOneal-and-HillaryHillary Clinton understands that African American-owned small businesses are a critical engine of the American economy. Today, African American-owned businesses employ nearly 1 million Americans, fuel U.S. innovation, and offer crucial ladders to prosperity.During the Great Recession, African American-owned businesses were critical to bringing back the U.S. economy.

The number of African American owned businesses increased from roughly 800,000 in 1997 to 2.6 million in 2012, more than doubling. And the number of businesses owned by African-American women has tripled since 1997. In 2012, African American-owned businesses generated $150 billion in annual revenue.

Yet, with all this progress, African American entrepreneurs still face too many obstacles to success, and opportunities to thrive as an entrepreneur in our country remain deeply uneven. For example, African Americans tend to begin their businesses with half the capital of white men and this difference widens as their businesses mature. Hillary believes our nation cannot reach its fullest potential until we address the social and economic disparities that African Americans still face. And she knows that supporting African American small business and entrepreneurship is critical to building a strong economic future—both for the African American community and for our country.

Hillary Clinton is proposing a comprehensive, job-creating package of reforms and innovations to jumpstart small business startups, and strengthen small business growth. The new proposals reflect what Clinton has heard since her first event of the campaign at an Iowa bike shop and across nearly 100 visits to small businesses since. Over a year ago, Hillary Clinton pledged that she would be the “small business President” if elected. Small businesses create around two-thirds of all new American jobs.

  • Clinton and Senator Tim Kaine both grew up in small business-owning families. Clinton’s father ran a small drapery business in suburban Chicago when she grew up and Kaine’s father ran a small ironworking business in Kansas City where he grew up.
  • Kaine will discuss the new plan during a roundtable with small business owners this morning in Lakewood, Colorado, and Clinton will discuss it on a nationwide conference call with small business owners from all across the country this afternoon.

Clinton’s plans are aimed at making it easier to start, grow and sustain a small business in America. Her proposals will streamline the process of starting a small business; improve access to financing for small businesses; provide tax relief and simplification for small businesses; Incentivize more health care benefits for small businesses and their employees; ensure the federal government is more responsive to small businesses; and, make it easier to fight back when small businesses get cheated.

Clinton’s new plan would:

Streamline the process of starting a small business. It takes longer to start a business in the U.S. than it does in other countries like Canada or Denmark — often because of unnecessary red tape and licensing requirements at the state and local level. Hillary Clinton will offer state and local governments a deal – new federal incentives if they streamline unnecessary licensing and make it less costly to start a small business.

Improve access to financing for small businesses. Small business loans comprised just 29 percent of total bank loans in 2012, as compared with 51 percent in 1995. Clinton will work to boost small business lending by streamlining regulation and cutting red tape for community banks and credit unions, which are the backbone of small business lending in America — while also defending the new rules on Wall Street. Clinton’s plan also would allow entrepreneurs to defer student loan payments with no interest while they get their ventures off the ground.

Provide new tax relief and simplification for small businesses. Hillary will create a new standard deduction for small businesses—like the one available to individual filers—so they get tax relief without filing as many forms documenting their overhead costs, potentially including transportation, computer and phone use, maintaining an office, and more. She will simplify the rules so small businesses can track and file their taxes as easily as filling out a checkbook or printing a bank statement. And the new plan would quadruple the start-up tax deduction to significantly lower the cost of starting a business.

Incentivize health care benefits for small businesses and their employees. Clinton would simplify and expand the healthcare tax credit for small employers in the Affordable Care Act, so that even more employers can provide quality, affordable healthcare to their workers. She will make sure that small businesses with up to 50 employees can be eligible for the credit, and she will simplify complex phase-out and eligibility rules so that it’s easier for many more small businesses to get the credit and cover their workers.

Ensure the federal government is more responsive to small businesses. Clinton will push the federal agencies to make government more user friendly and treat small businesses like the customer including guaranteeing a 24-hour response time to small business with questions about federal regulations and access to capital programs.

Make it easier to fight back when small businesses get cheated. Clinton will stop large companies from using expensive litigation hurdles to deny small businesses their right to a remedy when they’re denied payment for services—and give small businesses recourse to take on predatory behavior.

 

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