Obama hones in on D.C. entrepreneurs in campaign to gain small-business support


U.S. President Barack Obama meets with small business owners to discuss income tax credits during a roundtable discussion at Taylor Gourmet restaurant in Washington on May 16, 2012. (LARRY DOWNING/Reuters)
May 20, 2012

President Obama talked up business issues in Washington last week, and it wasn’t at the White House.

Obama hosted a small-business roundtable at Taylor Gourmet on 14th Street NW in the District, where he and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills met with Taylor Gourmet founders Casey Patten and David Mazza, Yes! Organic Market president Kathy Rachels and Francis Lee Contracting founding principal Brian Smith, NBC Washington reported.

“You’ve got three small businesses who are outstanding examples of American entrepreneurship,” Obama said. “And it’s their ingenuity and their hard work that’s allowed them to be successful. But organizations like the [Small Business Administration] have also made a difference.”

The appearance gave Obama an opportunity to underscore his support for two tax proposals aimed at encouraging business owners to hire and move operations back to the United States. It’s the second time in as many weeks Obama has hawked the measures — one that would give companies a new 20 percent tax credit for the cost of moving jobs back from overseas, and one that would give a 10 percent tax credit for small businesses that hire workers and increase wages. Earlier this month, he made a campaign stop at the State University of New York at Albany where he urged Congress to pass the two proposals as part of a “to-do list” he said legislators should prioritize.

The Romney camp has not commented specifically on those measures, but Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has voiced opposition to the 10 percent tax cut, and has floated his own House job creation bill that would cut taxes 20 percent for companies with fewer than 500 employees to help small employers retain capital to hire new employees.

Catherine Ho covers law and lobbying for the Capital Business section of The Washington Post. She previously worked at the LA Daily Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit Free Press, the Wichita Eagle and the San Mateo County Times.
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