For National Small Business Week, I was proud to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) new district office in Baltimore. The SBA provides small businesses in Maryland and around the country with critical tools and resources.
I also joined a roundtable discussion with U.S. Senator Ben Cardin to hear from local small business owners about the challenges they face and about how we can help.
Small businesses are the primary driver of our nation’s economy, and I am committed to helping small businesses grow and thrive in our state. In that effort, here are several resources that may be of interest to small business owners in Maryland.
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- Permanent Extension of Small Business Expensing: The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 made the Section 179 tax deduction for small businesses permanent at the $500,000 level. This will allow our nation’s small businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. Businesses exceeding a total of $2 million of purchases in qualifying equipment have the Section 179 deduction phase-out dollar-for-dollar and completely eliminated above $2.5 million. Additionally, the Section 179 cap will be indexed to inflation in $10,000 increments in future years.
- Increasing Capital Available for Small Business: The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 created the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF), a dedicated fund of $30 billion in low-cost capital made accessible to qualified community banks (assets less than $10 billion) to encourage lending to small business. As of December 2015, the United States Treasury Department reported that participating lending institutions had increased lending by over $17.2 billion since the program’s inception.
- Building on the Success of the 504 Loan Program: The 504 loan program provides capital for fixed asset projects, such as purchasing land and improvements; construction of new facilities; modernizing, renovating or converting existing facilities; or purchasing machinery and equipment. To ensure small businesses have access to 504 loans, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has reduced or eliminated the fees associated with this lending program and has increased the maximum loan size to $5.5 million. Since its launch, the 504 loan program has created over 2 million jobs – a proven win-win for businesses and lenders.
- Expanding the 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program: The 7(a) loan program provides capital to establish a new business or to assist in the operation, acquisition or expansion of an existing business. The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 permanently increased the maximum 7(a) loan size from $2 million to $5 million – helping provide the capital needed to help small businesses expand for the future.
- Boosting Small Business Lending Micro-Loan Program: This SBA program provides very small loans to start-ups and newly established or growing small businesses. Under the SBA Micro-Loan Program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit, community-based lenders that, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000.
- U.S. Small Business Administration: The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people across Maryland and throughout the United States (http://www.sba.gov). Contact: 1-800-827-5722 or [email protected].
- Maryland Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC): The Maryland Small Business & Technology Development Center (MDSBTDC) Network provides sound advice, counseling and support to entrepreneurs and small to mid-size businesses across the state. The Network links private enterprise, government, higher education and local economic development organizations to provide management, training and technical assistance to Maryland’s small businesses (http://www.mdsbdc.umd.edu). Contact: (301) 403-0501.
- Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP). The Baltimore-Washington corridor is also home to a large community of small businesses that compete for the vast array of government contracts awarded by the federal government each year. The federal government has set a goal of awarding 23 percent of all contracts to small businesses. The Maryland Procurement Technical Assistance Program assists Maryland small businesses in how to do business with federal, state, and local government agencies(http://www.mdptap.umd.edu/).
- Statewide Procurement Assistance: (301) 403-2740 or [email protected].
- BusinessUSA is a new online resource that makes it easier for America’s businesses to access the services and information they need to grow, hire, and export. For more information, visit www.usa.gov/business.
- For more information about specific tax provisions as they apply to your business, please visit www.irs.gov or contact the IRS small business helpline at 1-800-829-4933.
John P. Sarbanes
Maryland’s Third Congressional District