President Obama on Tuesday sat down with small business owners from across the country to discuss their economic concerns and their recommendations for avoiding the “fiscal cliff.”

President Obama and his daughters visited a local bookstore in Arlington, Va. on Small Business Saturday. (YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS)

Congress is currently working on a deal to avoid an unprecedented round of automatic spending cuts and tax increases at the end of the year. Of particular concern for small employers is the fate of the Bush-era tax cuts, the impact of which has been widely disputed by business experts and policy makers.

After the meeting Tuesday, Blanche Lincoln, former Democratic senator and head of the NFIB’s Small Businesses for Sensible Regulations coalition, said she was “encouraged to hear” that the president had taken time to gather input from the nation’s smallest employers. Amid the heated debate over tax rates, she also urged policy makers not to neglect business owners’ mounting regulatory concerns.

“For the sake of our economic future, our national leaders must work together to simplify and balance the federal regulatory process,” Lincoln said. “We need greater transparency and insight into the process, accountability from Congress and the courts, and an environment that promotes sustained small business growth.”

The White House released the following list of business owners who were invited to the meeting. Four of the attendees were among 600 employers who recently signed a letter sent to the president supporting the elimination of the Bush-era tax cuts for the high-income earners.

· Nikhil Arora: Co-founder of Back to the Root in West Oakland, Calif.

· David Bolotsky: CEO of Uncommon Goods in New York, N.Y.

· Mandy Cabot, Co-founder, Dansko in West Grove, Penn.

· Deb Carey: Co-founder, New Glarus Brewing, New Glarus, Wisc.

· Lisa Goodbee, CEO of Goodbee and Associates in Centennial, Colo.

· Andy Harold: Owner of A. Harold + Associates, Jacksonville, Fl.

· Julia Hu: Founder of Lark in Mountain View, Calif.

· David Ickert: Founder of Air Tractor, Inc. in Olney, Tex.

· Samanta Joseph: Founder, Samanta Shoes in New York, N.Y.

· Lewis Prince: Co-Founder, Vintage Vinyl, Inc. in St. Louis, Mo.

· Andra Rush: Founder, Rush Trucking in Wayne, Mo.

· Keith Tillage: CEO of Tillage Construction in Baton Rouge, La.

· Arnulfo Ventura: Co-founder and CEO of Coba, Los Angeles, Calif.

· Daniella Yacobovsky: Co-founder, BaubleBar of New York, N.Y.

· Chris Yura: Founder of SustainU, Morgantown of W.V.

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