WASHINGTON – Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, celebrated Small Business Saturday by visiting local shops on Magazine Street in New Orleans today. Landrieu visited Artz Bagels, Fleurty Girl and Belladonna Day Spa.
Small Business Saturday began in 2010 and was designated as the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The purpose of Small Business Saturday is a day for everyone to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving. Last year, more than 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on Small Business Saturday.
“Often times when we go out to do our shopping, we are so focused on heading to the big chain stores that we pass right by great local small businesses,” Sen. Landrieu said. “These local businesses create jobs and drive our economy and we should make sure we support them, not just today, but throughout the entire year.”
“America’s 28 million small businesses employ half of all private sector workers in the U.S. and are responsible for creating 65 percent of all new private sector jobs created in the last 17 years. My committee will continue to fight for America’s job creators as we close out this Congress and move into the next on that begins in January.”
Artz Bagelz is a locally owned and operated bagel shop offering fresh baked bagels daily in a variety of flavors. Owners Art and Kim Zacharczyk have a history of running successful bagel shops in the Northeast and also have strong family ties to New Orleans. Since they returned to New Orleans just before Katrina, many friends and relatives have urged them to satisfy their desire for a really good, locally made fresh bagel. Since opening the shop in August 2011, the response from their customers has been wonderful. What they expected to be just a little mom and pop bagel shop has grown into a thriving business employing ten people. The response has been so great and the demand for their bagels is such that they are in the midst of a huge expansion of their bagel baking operation. With the help of a Small Business Administration Loan, Artz Bagelz is about to open their new bagel production facility in New Orleans which will employ another four to six people. This will be a catalyst to distribute Artz Bagelz all over the metro area.
Belladonna Day Spa + Retail Therapy has been a cornerstone of the Garden District community for over twenty years. Consistently voted by locals as the top day spa in New Orleans, their goal has always been to offer the best day spa experience in the region where the focus is on personalized services, exceptional products, and people who care about other people, themselves, and maintaining a holistic approach to living life. Their vision is to help everyone achieve a sense of balance in the physical, emotional spiritual and occupational areas of their lives by creating an atmosphere that promotes holistic healing and personal growth. They are committed to the craft, the environment and the individual.
Lauren Thom, a New Orleans native, created Fleurty Girl t-shirt design business in 2009 from the money she received in her income tax return. Business was so successful that in December 2009 she opened her first retail store on Oak Street in Uptown New Orleans. In June 2010 Fleurty Girl’s second location was opened on Magazine Street. Thereafter, three other Fleurty Girl stores were opened one in the French Quarter, one in Metairie in Lakeside Plaza, and another in Mandeville. Lauren currently resides in New Orleans with her three sons.
On November 29, Sen. Landrieu will lead the committee in hearing to examine various proposals to help small businesses and entrepreneurs. One of the proposals the committee will look at is S.3442, the Success Ultimately Comes from Capital, Contracting, Education, Strategic Partnerships and Smart Regulation (SUCCESS) Act of 2012.
In July, Sen. Landrieu introduced the SUCCESS Act as a stand-alone bill after the same language received strong bipartisan support earlier this month in the Senate as an amendment to S. 2237, the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act.
The SUCCESS Act, which would spur small businesses job growth and boost entrepreneurship, received 57 votes on July 12 as part of Senate Amendment 2521 to S. 2237, the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act of 2012, including support from five Republicans.
The bill is the result of multiple committee hearings, including three roundtables hosted by Chair Landrieu between February and April of this year to explore strategies, tools and methods to strengthen the ecosystem of entrepreneurship.
The bill includes proposals in six key areas: 1) Tax and Finance; 2) Access to Capital; 3) Access to Global Markets; 4) Access to Mentoring, Education and Strategic Partnerships; 5) Access to Government Contracting; and 6) Transparency, Accountability, and Effectiveness. Joining Sen. Landrieu as cosponsors of the Success Act are Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. and Ben Cardin, D-Md.
Included in the SUCCESS Act are a number of extensions of expiring or expired tax cuts for small businesses for 2012 and 2013 that were first introduced by Sens. Landrieu and Olympia Snowe, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, in the Small Business Tax Extenders Act (S. 2050). According to a report from the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, the SUCCESS Act’s tax relief provisions would deliver $12 billion dollars of tax cuts for small businesses in 2012 and 2013. Specifically, the SUCCESS Act’s tax relief for small businesses would:
- Extend 100 percent capital gains tax relief on qualifying investments in small business stock purchased through December 31, 2013 and held for five years.
- Double the existing deduction for start-up costs for new small businesses.
- Temporarily reduce the period an S-Corporation is required to hold onto its assets after converting from a C corporation.
- Allow small businesses to carry back general business credits from 2012 and 2013 to offset five years of taxes to increase cash-flow for businesses that are currently not realizing profits.
- Extend the availability of enhanced Section 179 expensing to give businesses the option of writing off the cost of qualifying capital expenses in the year of acquisition in lieu of recovering these costs over time through depreciation. This provision would also allow small businesses to write-off up to $250,000 of improvements to restaurant and retail property.
Another aspect of the SUCCESS Act is the Expanding Access to Capital for Entrepreneurial Leaders (EXCEL) Act that was introduced earlier this year by Sens. Landrieu and Snowe. The Excel Act would modify the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program to raise the amount of SBIC debt the Small Business Administration (SBA) can guarantee from $3 billion to $4 billion. It would also increase from $225 million to $350 million the amount of SBA guaranteed debt a team of SBIC fund managers who operate several funds can borrow.
On March 22, Chair Landrieu led the committee in a roundtable with federal officials, SBIC fund managers, and companies to discuss modifications to the SBIC program.
These two SBIC provisions, along with the 100 percent capital gains tax relief and increased deduction for start-up expenses proposals, are part of the Startup America Legislative Agenda that President Barack Obama sent to Congress on January 31, 2012.
Another key part of the amendment would extend for one year a provision allowing small business owners to use Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans to refinance existing commercial mortgages. The measure, originally enacted as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, did not become operational until February 2012, significantly shortening the period of time that business could use 504 loans to refinance qualifying existing debt. It is set to expire on September 27, 2012.
The 504 loan program is a long-term financing tool for economic development that provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate loans to help them acquire major fixed assets for expansion or modernization. Certified Development Companies (CDC) work with the SBA and private sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses under the 504 loan program. A CDC is typically a private, nonprofit corporation set up to contribute to the economic development of its community.
Other provisions in the SUCCESS Act include:
- The Small Business Lending Activity Index Act;
- The Small Business Export Growth Act;
- The Measuring the Effectiveness of Resource Partners Act;
- The Women’s Small Business Ownership Act;
- The Strengthening America’s Small Business Development Centers Act;
- Oversight of Ineffective SBA Programs;
- SBA Surety Bond Increase;
- The Small Business Contracting Fraud Prevention Act;
- The Fairness in Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Act;
- The Small Business Champion Act; and
- The Small Business Common Application Act.
Additionally, the bill authorizes the Government Accountability Office to review the status of programs authorized in the SUCCESS Act after 2 years, including the extent they have been funded, implemented and are promoting job creation among small businesses.
For a summary of the SUCCESS Act, please click here.
For the full text of the SUCCESS Act, please click here.
Photographs are available for publication:
Sen. Mary Landrieu visits Artz Bagels on Magazine St. in New Orleans and meets with owners Art and Kim Zacharczyk on Small Business Saturday: https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=e6efdfd4-9a57-4039-8fcc-bfe2a0973f82
Sen. Landrieu shops at Belladonna Day Spa on Small Business Saturday: https://www.sbc.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?a=Files.Serve&File_id=a1d7430c-a4e2-4718-beaa-04ef11bc74aa