Give Us Your Questions For The White House: Small Business Edition

Yesterday, President Obama spoke at the Brookings Institute about his administration’s plan for spurring job growth in our not-quite-a-recession-anymore-but-still-pretty-much-a-recession. Now they’ve invited Consumerist to bring our readers’ questions about the program to Austan Goolsbee, the staff director and chief economist on the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

We know that there are lot of small business owners who read Consumerist and we wanted to open the floor to them because the job creation plan focuses on their needs.

Here’s the relevant part of the address:

First, we’re proposing a series of steps to help small businesses grow and hire new staff. Over the past 15 years, small businesses have created roughly 65 percent of all new jobs in America. These are companies formed around kitchen tables in family meetings, formed when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream, formed when a worker decides it’s time she became her own boss. These are also companies that drive innovation, producing 13 times more patents per employee than large companies. And it’s worth remembering, every once in a while a small business becomes a big business — and changes the world.

That’s why it’s so important that we help small business struggling to stay open, or struggling to open in the first place, during these difficult times. Building on the tax cuts in the Recovery Act, we’re proposing a complete elimination of capital gains taxes on small business investment along with an extension of write-offs to encourage small businesses to expand in the coming year. And I believe it’s worthwhile to create a tax incentive to encourage small businesses to add and keep employees, and I’m going to work with Congress to pass one.

Now, these steps will help, but we also have to address the continuing struggle of small businesses to get loans that they need to start up and grow. To that end, we’re proposing to waive fees and increase the guarantees for SBA-backed loans. And I’m asking my Treasury Secretary to continue mobilizing the remaining TARP funds to facilitate lending to small businesses.

The President also mentioned a program to help consumers retrofit their homes to be more energy efficient. Here’s a blog post from the White House that summarizes the plan.

Consumerist will be heading down there next Tuesday, so leave your questions in the comments or email them to with the subject “Job Creation Questions.”

The Big Picture and Some Next Steps on Jobs [White House]
Obama Pushes New Job Stimulus [WSJ]
Obama, Republicans and the battle over TARP [USAToday]
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