Small-business aid bill fails to advance as business owners struggle

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Legislation that would have provided loans and tax breaks for small businesses failed to advance in the Senate Thursday, leaving business owners in the lurch as economic conditions stagnate.

Senate Republicans unanimously voted against the bill, saying they weren't being given a chance to add amendments. "The majority leader has graciously given us three amendments, and what I'm saying is three amendments is not enough," Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said.

The legislation - championed by Democrats and backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization that has historically aligned itself with the GOP - needed 60 votes to move forward, but it only received 59.

The package would set aside $30 billion for community-bank lending to small businesses and provide billions of dollars in tax breaks. The measures may be sorely needed among the small-business community: According to a survey of 400 business owners by the National Small Business Association, 25 percent of small companies have cut jobs and 41 percent are having a hard time securing financing.

"Unless small-business owners are able to secure financing, we will continue to see high unemployment," NSBA president Scott McCracken warned.

By Steve Monfort ADNFCR-1724-ID-19915503-ADNFCR



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Personal Finance , Small Business

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