From NBC's Ali Weinberg
President Obama today urged Congress to quickly pass a newly announced package of loans, credits and tax incentives that the White House says will spur job growth among small businesses.
At an event honoring small-business owners, who expanded their companies using Recovery Act loans, President Obama highlighted tax credits and Recovery Act lending programs that his administration has already put in place, but stressed that more had to be done to spur job growth in small business, which he called "the driving force behind this recovery."
The White House unveiled several new proposals it would be sending to Congress, including a $30 billion fund for community banks to lend to small businesses; a $20 billion fund to be used by state programs to encourage private lenders to extend more credit to small businesses; and an elimination of all capital gains taxes on small business investment.
Obama urged Congress to put aside partisan beliefs and act in the interest of getting Americans back to work.
"This shouldn't be an issue of big government versus small government," he said. "This is an issue of putting our government on the side of the small business owners who create most of the jobs in this country."
Addressing the crisis foremost on the administration's plate, Obama also mentioned the Small Business Association's efforts to support economic development in the communities hardest hit by the BP oil spill.
"From the very beginning of this disaster, the SBA has acted quickly to assist fishermen and fishing-dependent small businesses. They're offering low-interest loans and deferrals of existing loans. And while small businesses are encouraged to file claims with BP, these loans and deferrals can provide much needed temporary assistance."