By Rieva Lesonsky
Every entrepreneur agrees vacations can be rejuvenating. But enough is enough. While Congress has been on vacation for the month of August, millions of small business owners nationwide have been “on hold” waiting for the Senate to pass a small business bill that has been stuck in the legislature for what seems like eternity.
At one point, the bill was expected to pass before Congress recessed in July, but no luck. President Obama recently took legislators to task, urging them to pass the bill without delay.
USA Today recently talked to some entrepreneurs who are in holding patterns, waiting to hire employees, buy or lease locations, or pitch new clients until they know what elements of the bill will pass and how it will affect their businesses.
Here are some of the proposals included in the bill:
o Increasing government guarantees on some popular SBA loans to as much as 90 percent (currently the max is 75 percent).
o Increasing the maximum amount for some SBA loans from $2 million to $5 million.
o Allowing community banks with assets of $10 billion or less to access a $30 billion fund for small-business loans. This would affect about 8,000 banks.
o About $18 billion in tax breaks for small businesses, including bigger write-offs for capital equipment and tax credits for new hires.
August is a slow time for many businesses, but come September, we’re itching to get down to business. Added to the summer doldrums, the economy has put small businesses in what seems like a permanent state of “wait and see.” The last thing we need is for elected officials to add to our frustration and uncertainty by delaying decisions they could have completed months ago.