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Obama urges Congress to assist small business

By JIM KUHNHENN Modified: February 1, 2012 at 1:12 am •  Published: February 1, 2012

Seeking cooperation in a polarized climate, President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to act quickly on bipartisan measures that would extend tax breaks for small businesses and help startup companies raise money. He said he would sign the legislation “right away.”

Obama plans to include in his 2013 budget proposal later this month a series of business measures that have been percolating in Congress or that already have passed the Republican-controlled House to give entrepreneurs incentives to expand their businesses or start new ones.

Obama made his remarks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House. He noted that, for the first time, the head of the Small Business Administration, Karen Mills, was participating as a full member of the Cabinet.

“It is a symbol of how important it is for us to spur entrepreneurship, to help startups, to move aggressively so that we can assure more companies that create the most jobs in our economy are getting a leg up from various programs that we have in our government,” Obama said.

The White House legislative agenda for small businesses includes permanently eliminating capital gains taxes on investments in small businesses and a one-year extension on the ability of all businesses to deduct immediately all of the costs of equipment and software purchases.

The Obama administration also is seeking a 10 percent tax credit for small businesses adding jobs or increasing wages in 2012.

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