DENVER — Hillary Clinton’s campaign pushed a package of tax breaks and other initiatives Tuesday aimed at making it easier for small businesses to get started and continue operating — part of a bid to cast the Democrat as friendlier to their interests than Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The package — a mix of new and previously released proposals, some larger in scope than others — were the focus of a roundtable discussion near here by Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.). Later Tuesday, Clinton convened a national conference call on the subject from California, where she was holding multiple fundraisers.
"It's clear that big corporations get a lot of the breaks," Clinton said on the call. "It's much harder for you to get a loan, to file taxes or offer health care to your workers. ... You aren't looking for special breaks, you want common-sense policies that will make life a little bit easier."
Among the key initiatives highlighted is a new standard deduction that would be available for small businesses as they file tax returns. The move is intended to save considerable time and money that is now devoted to documenting overhead costs, including maintaining an office, transportation, and computer and phone use.
Clinton and Kaine also proposed quadrupling an existing tax deduction aimed at lowering the costs of starting a business, and they called for expanding an existing health-care tax credit that is part of the Affordable Care Act.
Clinton and Kaine proposed providing financial incentives to state and local governments that agree to streamline the process and reduce licensing costs for starting small businesses. Her campaign says in a document outlining its proposals that it takes longer to start a small business in the United States than in Canada or Denmark.
Other proposals highlighted Tuesday aimed to expand other tax credits and increase the access to financing for small businesses.
The proposals, Clinton’s campaign said, are the culmination of nearly 100 visits she has made to small businesses across the country, including a stop at an Iowa bike shop that was one of her first campaign events.
Both Clinton and Kaine stressed their own family experiences with small businesses. Clinton’s father ran a small drapery business in suburban Chicago when she was growing up, and Kaine’s father ran a small ironworking business in the Kansas City area, where he grew up.
"I want to make sure every family has the chance to tell a similar story," Clinton said.
During campaign stops in Las Vegas on Monday — including one before a conference of a national ironworkers union — Kaine talked at length about his father’s business. His father, 81, also joined the senator from Virginia onstage.