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Obama announces new measures to help small businesses

(Xinhua)

09:03, July 12, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 11 (Xinhua)-- U.S. President Barack Obama announced Wednesday a series of measures to help small businesses, his latest effort to bolster economic recovery and job creation.

The White House said five of these initiatives are immediate executive actions that will accelerate Federal payments, reduce paperwork, and make it easier for small firms to access loans and tax credits, and one is a legislative proposal to raise the amount of investment small businesses can expense next year.

"The President will direct agencies to make contract payments along an accelerated timeline to all prime contractors for the next year, with the understanding that those prime contractors will similarly accelerate payments to their small business subcontractors," the White House said in a statement.

Obama would also call on Congress to let small businesses to write off up to 250,000 U.S. dollars in capital investments in 2013, such as machinery and equipment, to drive productivity.

The Small Business Administration would revamp its Small Loan Advantage program to raise the maximum loan amount from 250,000 dollars to 350,000 dollars and streamline the loan process.

These initiatives followed Obama's call for one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than 250,000 dollars a year, as he geared up for the election and demonstrated his effort to tackle high unemployment and sluggish recovery.

Republicans have accused Obama of trying to distract attention from his economic stewardship after employment report last week showed disappointing job growth in June for the third month in a row.

According to the White House, the Obama administration has so far worked to enact 18 small business tax cuts and other measures to help more small businesses access the credit they need to invest, hire, and grow.

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