From Main Street shops to high-tech startups, America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs are the engine of our economy and one of our country’s greatest assets. The country’s 28 million small firms employ half of the private sector workforce and have, over the last two decades, been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs.
Over the past decade, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) owned small businesses have seen particularly strong growth. From 2002 to 2007, the number of AAPI businesses grew from 1.06 million to 1.50 million. However, over 17% of AAPI business had no access to start-up capital, and close to 23% of AAPI businesses had only $5000 of start-up capital. President Obama has taken strong action to expand capital access for AAPI small businesses, directing more than $13 billion dollars to 19,000 AAPI firms to alleviate these start-up capital deficiencies. See an infographic detailing this here.
President Obama understands that to create an economy built to last—one that ensures millions of hard working Americans have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream—we must make sure that every entrepreneur and small business in America has the tools they need to grow. That’s why, from the moment he took office, President Obama has fought tirelessly to move our economy forward and invest in entrepreneurs and small businesses so they can do what they do best—take risks, develop new ideas, grow businesses, and create new jobs.
To date, the President has supported 18 direct tax breaks that bolster small business growth. In September 2010, he signed the Small Business Jobs Act which included eight new small business tax cuts that, among other forms of tax relief, extended accelerated bonus depreciation for two million businesses, making investment and growth more affordable; made investments in one million small firms eligible for zero capital gains taxes; and allowed two million self-employed Americans to deduct their health insurance costs when calculating their self-employment taxes. Additionally, through the American Jobs Act and Congress To-Do List, the President has pushed Congress to go further still in providing targeted tax relief to small businesses that will keep more cash in their pockets so they can grow and hire.
In large part as a result of these and other efforts, small businesses are at the forefront of America’s economic recovery. In the last 26 months we have created 4.25 million private sector jobs – many of them at small and new businesses – and triple the number of jobs added during the last economic recovery in 2002-2004. We know there is still a great deal of work to be done, but the actions we’ve taken – and the partnerships we’ve built – are creating a more inclusive economy, a more resilient economy, and an economy that is driven by a strong and growing middle class.
For more information on the President's comprehensive record of support for small business and entrepreneurship, see this report on small business.
Brian Highsmith is a Policy Advisor in the National Economic Council of the Executive Office of the President.