President Obama on Tuesday reiterated his administration's plans to help small businesses challenged by the economic climate find access to credit.
In remarks at the Brookings Institution, Obama called for an expansion of tax benefits for small business mandated by the stimulus law, proposed a "complete elimination" of taxes for capital gains from small-business investments and backed a tax incentive for small businesses that "add and keep employees."
The president also touted steps first outlined earlier this year to spur small-business lending, including higher guarantees and fee waivers for loans backed by the Small Business Administration. Obama repeated the suggestion that remaining funds in the Troubled Asset Relief Program could be used to support small businesses.
The tax benefits "will help, but we also have to address the continuing struggle of small businesses to get the loans they need to start up and grow," Obama said.
"To that end, we're proposing to waive fees and increase the guarantees for SBA-backed loans. And I am asking" Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner "to continue mobilizing the remaining Tarp funds to facilitate lending to small businesses."
Obama indicated his intention to "wind down" Tarp, but also signaled a willingness to use resources in the bailout fund for other means, saying he might "shift funds that would have gone to help the banks on Wall Street to help create jobs on Main Street."