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 Home > News & Policies > June 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 17, 2004

Fact Sheet: Supporting America's Small Businesses

Presidential Action

  • President Bush on June 17, 2004 announced small business owners from across the country at the National Small Business Summit of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Washington, DC. The President highlighted his small business agenda and six-point plan to continue to strengthen America's economic recovery and create jobs in America, which are the President's highest economic priorities. The President's policies are helping America's small businesses and workers; nearly 1 million jobs have been created in the last 100 days and more than 1.4 million new jobs have been created since August.
  • Small businesses create 7 out of 10 new jobs in America and account for more than half of the output of our economy. Because small businesses are vital to our Nation's prosperity and reflect the hard work of the American people, the President has taken important steps to assist small businesses and the people they employ by reducing taxes, encouraging investment, and removing obstacles to growth.

President George W. Bush delivers remarks to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) 2004 Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C., Thursday, June 17, 2004.  White House photo by Paul Morse Background: The President's Policies are Helping America's Small Businesses

  • President Bush recognizes that supporting America's small businesses is critical to ensuring continued job creation. There are nearly 8 million small businesses in the United States and they employ just over half of all workers. Small businesses owned by women are growing at more than twice the rate of businesses owned by men.
  • The President has made tax relief for America's small business a key component of his economic program.
    • In 2004, 25 million small businesses will receive tax relief totaling about $75 billion.
    • The President's Jobs and Growth package reduced marginal income tax rates across the board, including the creation of a new 10-percent tax bracket and the reduction of the top rate to 35 percent. These rate reductions benefit the more than 90 percent of small businesses that pay taxes at the individual income tax rates, not the corporate rates.
    • The President's Jobs and Growth package also raised the amount that small businesses can expense for new capital investments from $25,000 to $100,000, reducing their cost of purchasing new machinery, computers, trucks, and other qualified investments.
    • The President supported and signed into law the phase-out of the Federal death tax, ensuring that family business owners are able to leave their business to their families or key employees.
  • The President is committed to expanding markets for American products and services. America is the world's largest exporter, and America's small businesses are a large part of that success.
    • U.S exports accounted for about 25 percent of our economic growth during the 1990s and support an estimated 12 million jobs.
    • Small and medium sized companies make up 97 percent of all exporters. The President has supported this growth by signing into law Trade Promotion Authority to expedite the adoption of trade agreements that open markets for American goods and services. He is using this authority to open markets throughout the globe. The Bush Administration has signed or completed free trade.
    • agreement negotiations with 11 countries, including Australia, Morocco, Chile, Singapore, five countries of Central America, the Dominican Republic, and Bahrain.
    • Small exporters benefit from these agreements. More than 6,000 small and medium-sized businesses export to Chile, more than 4,000 export to Costa Rica, and approximately 3,000 export to Honduras.
  • In addition to reducing the tax burden and opening markets, the President is committed to reducing the costs of doing business in America. This agenda is especially important to America's small businesses.
    • The President has worked to make health care more affordable. The President has called for Association Health Plans (AHPs) to give America's working families greater access to affordable health insurance. By allowing small businesses to band together and negotiate on behalf of their employees and their families, AHPs would help small businesses and employees obtain health insurance at an affordable price, much like large employers and unions. The President has also signed into law health savings accounts (HSAs), which combine low-cost, high-deductible health insurance with tax-free savings accounts to pay for health care expenses. The President has also proposed to make insurance premiums for HSAs tax deductible.
    • The President is pushing Congress to pass legislation reducing frivolous lawsuits. The President supports enactment of medical liability reform, class action lawsuit reforms, and asbestos litigation reforms to expedite resolutions and curb the costs lawsuits impose on American businesses.
    • The President has proposed and called on Congress to adopt a National Energy Policy (NEP) to ensure that America has a reliable and affordable source of energy and to reduce our dependence on foreign sources. The Administration has completed implementation of nearly 75% of the more than 100 recommendations contained in the President's comprehensive NEP.
    • The President is urging regulatory relief to ensure that Federal regulations do not unduly handicap America's entrepreneurs by streamlining regulations and reducing paperwork. Since the President took office, the Administration has slowed the growth of burdensome new rules by 75 percent, while still moving forward with crucial safeguards for homeland security, human health, and environmental protection.
  • The President has made tax relief permanence a top priority. All the tax relief enacted over the past three years, including the tax relief benefiting America's small businesses, is scheduled to expire over the next several years. Raising taxes on small businesses will hurt economic growth and job creation.
    • In 2005, the expanded 10-percent bracket will sunset, increasing the tax burden millions of owners of flow-through businesses.
    • In 2006, allowable small business expensing will shrink from $100,000 to just $25,000, increasing the cost of capital investments for America's small businesses -- thus subjecting them to a higher top tax rate than corporations could face.
    • In 2011, the rate relief and other tax relief enacted over the past three years will sunset, resulting in a tax increase for every small business that pays taxes as an S corporation, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship.
    • In 2011, the death tax returns, threatening the ability of family farms and businesses to survive from generation to generation and increasing the costs of estate planning for their owners.