The State of the Union: Small Firms Weigh In

President Obama’s State of the Union Address Tuesday night touched on deficit reduction, tax and regulatory reform, exporting, and other issues of interest to small business owners.

But some entrepreneurs and small-business groups said that they believe the speech didn’t go far enough in citing specific solutions that can help spur growth and hiring, among other things.

[sbsotu]Getty Images

The president highlighted the importance of small firms in the U.S. economy. He also emphasized the need to help them grow and hire in the U.S., through tax reform and regulatory reform. But he stopped short of listing the small-business tax provisions and regulatory challenges he hoped to change.

For a detailed look at other aspects of the address, click here. For an analysis of his proposals for Congress to consider, clickhere.

Small-business owners didn’t get anywhere near the level of attention that they received in his State of the Union address two years ago. Then, Mr. Obama mentioned small businesses more than a dozen times. He also called on Congress to craft several pieces of legislation that directly impact small businesses, a few of which were later signed into law.

Leading up to this year’s address, Mitch Marrow, founder of SPOT Group LLC, a New York doggie day care and dog services firm, said he hoped the president would address liquidity issues facing small firms.

His company has grown to 135 employees at six locations and is poised for expansion. But Mr. Marrow has had trouble accessing a line of credit that could help his firm meet its potential because, he said, he’s only been in business for about a year.

Mr. Obama touched on capital constraints but didn’t offer specifics on how to loosen credit for small firms. Mr. Marrow, who formerly worked in the hedge fund industry, said he was discouraged that the president opted instead to speak about the need for strict oversight in the financial sector because “that equates to less lending and liquidity,” he said. Mr. Marrow says he is a fiscally-conservative Independent who didn’t vote for Mr. Obama in 2008.

Mr. Marrow also wanted to hear about employment incentives, such as tax breaks for hiring and training new employees. But the president focused instead on incentives for bringing overseas jobs back to American shores, which doesn’t apply to Mr. Marrow’s business.

Read more of this post

The State of the Union 2012

Watch it here tonight at 9PM ET.  State of The Union Address

“On Tuesday night, I’m going to talk about how we’ll get there. American Manufacturing – with more good jobs and more products stamped with Made in America. American Energy – fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources. Skills for American Workers – getting people the education and training they need so they’re ready to take on the jobs of today and tomorrow. And most importantly, a Return to American Values – of fairness for all, and responsibility from all.” – POTUS

Kudos to President Obama for promoting manufacturing.  As Scott Paul said in a recent Huffington Post op-ed “now is the ideal time for the president to promote manufacturing: “If the president really wants to see “Made in America” stamped on products shipped all over the world, he needs to be bold. We’ll be watching. And so will voters.”

Will you be watching?

Obama to Draw an Economic Line in State of Union

A signer interpreted President Obama’s campaign speech on Thursday at the Apollo Theater in New York. His third State of the Union address, before a joint session of Congress, is set for Tuesday.

By NYT    Published: January 21, 2012

WASHINGTON — President Obama will use his election-year State of the Union address on Tuesday to define the role for government in helping to promote a prosperous and equitable society as an American tradition, hoping to draw a stark contrast between the parties in a time of deep economic uncertainty.

In a video preview e-mailed to more than 10 million supporters on Saturday, as South Carolina Republicans went to the polls to help pick an alternative to him, Mr. Obama promised a “blueprint for an economy that’s built to last,” with the government assisting the private sector and individuals to ensure “an America where everybody gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share and everybody plays by the same set of rules.”

Mr. Obama has honed that message for months as he has attacked Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, contrasting it with what he has described as Republicans’ “go it alone” free-market views.  Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: