President Barack Obama continues to try to stoke the fires of small businesses, this time with tax breaks and public-private initiatives aimed at encouraging startups and entrepreneurship.
"Entrepreneurs embody the promise of America: the belief that if you have a good idea and are willing to work hard and see it through, you can succeed in this country," Obama said in a statement. "And in fulfilling this promise, entrepreneurs also play a critical role in expanding our economy and creating jobs."
The White House said Monday (Jan. 31) that its budget proposal would include the recommendation that a temporary tax cut for those who invest in small businesses be made permanent. Investors who put money into small businesses and hold on to the investments for at least five years would get a break in capital gains taxes after they sell, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Another initiative, called the Startup America Partnership, led by AOL’s Steve Case, is intended to pair large companies with smaller ones to help them through investments, education and mentoring. It also aims to help scientists develop products based on knowledge gained from federally funded research.
"America's story has been forged in large part by entrepreneurs who have against great odds created innovative products and services that have changed the world — and created millions of jobs," Case said.
The partnership has received commitments of $200 million from Intel Capital, the investment arm of chip maker Intel Corp., for new investments in U.S. companies; $150 million from IBM for programs that promote entrepreneurship in the U.S., and $4 million from Hewlett-Packard.
Facebook Inc. is also getting in the act and plans to conduct 15 "startup days" around the country to give business owners access to experts who can offer advice.
The partnership will also receive funding from the Case Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Carl Schramm, chief executive of the Kauffman Foundation, will serve on its board.
Another set of programs, to be run by the U.S. Small Business Administration, will provide $2 billion in government-backed investment directly to small businesses. About half the money will be used to fund green startups and those owned by women, minorities, veterans and others that the federal government defines as underserved. The rest will be invested in existing businesses that are poised to grow but need funding to do so, The Los Angeles Times reported.