Incentives may boost businesses

Sandy Wood is optimistic about President Obama's recent small business tax cut ideas.

"It's very difficult as a small business," she said. "Any savings I could be afforded would definitely be something to take advantage of."

She is the owner of Designed for Change, an interior design consignment store on Davis Road in Martinez. Her store has been open for two months, and she has one part-time employee right now.

"In the future, as business picks up, I will need to hire more people," Ms. Wood said.

That hiring could qualify her for tax cuts for adding staff in 2010, a proposal Mr. Obama mentioned in a speech Tuesday morning.

A major part of the president's package includes new incentives for small businesses, which account for two-thirds of the nation's work force.

In addition to the new tax cut for small businesses that hire in 2010, the president proposed an elimination for one year of the capital gains tax on profits from small-business investments and making Small Business Administration loans more readily available by eliminating fees and increasing federal loan guarantees in 2010.

Matthew Meadows, the owner of Double Oaks Landscaping in Martinez, agrees that tax cuts and other financial incentives would help out, as well as specifically boosting the local economy.

"Any kind of money they can help us save would be money we can put back into our businesses," Mr. Meadows said.

He said that with the money saved, business owners could hire more employees, buy new equipment and otherwise expand their businesses. He added that job creation would help the local unemployment rate and equipment purchases would help other small businesses.

"It's a win-win situation ... We're kind of the backbone of the economy," he said. "Most businesses get started as a small business."

Reach Gracie Shepherd at (706) 724-0851 or t.gracie.shepherd@augustachronicle.com.

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