Jobs & The Economy: Putting America Back to Work

“It is our generation’s task, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth —
a rising, thriving middle class,”

— President Barack Obama

Jobs & The Economy: Putting America Back to Work

Supporting Small Businesses

President Obama is committed to helping America’s small businesses grow and prosper. Small businesses are the engines of job creation and essential to strengthening our national economy. That’s why President Obama has cut taxes for small businesses and helped them get access to the capital they need to expand and create the jobs we need now and for decades to come. 

Investing in Small Business

President Obama is committed to creating an environment where America’s small businesses - our engines of job creation - can grow and prosper by supporting small business with new tax relief, favorable treatment of investments, and rewards for hiring. In his 2012 State of the Union address, the President proposed extending the payroll tax cut to firms by cutting in half their payroll tax on the first $5 million in payroll, completely refund payroll taxes paid on added workers or wage increases for current workers above the level of last year’s payroll and extending the 100 percent expensing provision that the President signed into law in December 2010 through 2012.


Since taking office, President Obama has shown his unprecedented commitment to small businesses across America:

Enacted 18 Tax Cuts: To date, the Obama Administration has passed 18 tax cuts for small businesses, including the elimination of taxes on capital gains on key investments in small businesses and 100 percent depreciation to support new investments in equipment – both of which the President has proposed to extend.  

Addressed Access to Capital: Since the beginning of 2009, through the Recovery Act and the Small Business Jobs Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has supported over $93 billion in lending to more than 166,000 small businesses nationwide. The SBA more than doubled the maximum loan size for its largest programs, permanently raising the maximum 7(a) and 504 loans from $2 million to $5 million, and the maximum 504 manufacturing loan to $5.5 million. In addition, as part of Startup America, SBA has created a $1 billion Impact Investment Initiative to support private-sector investments in startup and high-growth firms in underserved communities and emerging sectors.The first investment fund was rolled out in Michigan, and will focus on building upon the state’s strong tradition of engineering and manufacturing. The passage of the Small Business Jobs Act in September 2010 created the Small Business Lending Fund and the Small Business Credit Initiative to help small businesses. 

Tackled Health Care: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, businesses that have fewer than 25 employees and provide health insurance can qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35 percent to offset the cost of insurance. President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposes expanding this tax credit and increasing the maximum size of eligible companies from 25 employees to 50, offers more generous phase-out provisions and simplifies the credit, making it easier to claim. It is estimated that expanding this tax credit would benefit about half a million employers who provide healthcare to 4 million workers in 2012 alone. 

Expanded and Accelerated Payment on Government Contracts: The Federal Government is the world's largest purchaser of goods and services, with purchases totaling over $500 billion per year, more than $400 billion of which is considered “small business eligible.” Many businesses, large and small, view the Federal Government as an important customer. The first two years of the Obama Administration saw the largest two-year increase in the percentage of federal contracting dollars going to small businesses in a decade. Expanding contracting opportunities with the Federal Government is one of the most powerful small business tools: each percentage increase in procurements made to small businesses means about $4 billion in business for these firms. The White House and SBA continue to work with agencies to meet their goals. 

In addition, the Administration has established an inter-agency effort to enhance small business contracting transparency and cut down on contract processing and payment times for small business contractors. SBA created a small business dashboard so government officials and the public can check where each agency stands on a daily basis in meeting their small business contracting goals. Additionally, as part of the President’s plan to create jobs, the Administration launched QuickPay, an initiative to accelerate payments to small contractors by cutting the time they are paid by the federal government in half.  

Finally, the Administration repealed the Bush Administration-era rule requiring that the IRS withhold 3 percent of contractors’ income.

Making Government Programs and Resources Accessible:  The President directed his CIO and CTO to launch BusinessUSA, a one-stop shop to make it easier for businesses to access the services and information they need to help them grow, hire, export and compete globally. BusinessUSA was launched as part of the Administration’s ongoing effort to support and strengthen American businesses.