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Opinion: American Jobs Act worth a double take

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Small-business owners should take a second look at the American Jobs Act, President Obama’s plan for growing our economy and putting Americans back to work. The American Jobs Act would put money into the pockets of small-business owners, giving them new tools to grow their businesses and create jobs. Over the long run, it would invest in our nation’s schools and infrastructure – creating more contracting opportunities for small businesses.

The American Jobs Act, which President Obama sent to Congress last month, builds on the 17 tax cuts for small businesses the president already has signed into law. It would cut payroll taxes in half, to 3.1 percent, for 98 percent of businesses. It would eliminate payroll taxes for small businesses that create new jobs. It contains tax credits for small businesses that hire unemployed veterans, service-disabled veterans and workers who have been unemployed for at least six months. These tax cuts are designed to maximize job creation by giving small business owners more money to invest in their business and hire new workers.

At the same time, the Jobs Act provides for long-term investments. It contains billions of dollars for our roads, railways and airports, and creates a National Infrastructure Bank. These investments would mean contracts for small firms to increase their bottom lines and provide revenue to create jobs. To further benefit small contractors, the act would raise the limit on SBA-guaranteed surety bonds to $5 million.

The bill would modernize 35,000 schools, providing work for small construction companies. It would expand broadband access to 98 percent of Americans, making it easier for entrepreneurs to start businesses and find new customers, both at home and abroad.

DynaLabs in St. Louis is a fast-growing business in one of America’s fast-growing industries. By providing quality assurance to large medical companies, it helps save lives by driving new technologies and innovation. DynaLabs is exactly the sort of business the American Jobs Act would support. Recently, DynaLabs was able to nearly double its staff. The firm will soon open a new facility, and may add more jobs to meet demand. DynaLabs President Scott Glover recently told SBA Administrator Karen Mills that the payroll tax cuts in the Jobs Act would help ownership reinvest in the company and hire more workers.

Job creation is President Obama’s top priority, and the Jobs Act is a crucial step to putting Americans back to work. It contains bipartisan ideas that both parties have supported in the past, and is completely paid for. The president has called on Congress to pass the bill, and pass it now.

Patricia Brown-Dixon is Region VII administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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