Press Release

At Woman-Owned Small Business In Nyack, Gillibrand, Lowey Push To Extend Small Business Tax Breaks

Aug 30, 2012

Nyack, NY – Standing at Maria Luisa’s Boutique in Nyack, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Nita Lowey announced federal legislation designed to extend targeted tax breaks for small businesses. Women-run small businesses are among the fastest growing segments of the economy, but start with eight times less capital. Senator Gillibrand urged the U.S. Senate to vote on the SUCCESS Act of 2012, legislation that would provide investors with strong incentives to invest in small business stock, double deductions for start-up expenses, purchase new equipment, and continue tax credits that small businesses can take advantage of.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the most powerful job creators we have,” Senator Gillibrand said. “I’ve heard from women in the Hudson Valley and across the state. I know women are ready to lead us to a thriving and stable economy, with new good-paying jobs that can support a family. When we provide the tools that small business leaders need, we can help this economic engine take off.”

“Small businesses owned by women are growing quickly in number, and their success and expansion are critical to our economic recovery,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), who this month hosted workshops in Westchester and Rockland Counties to help small business owners gain access to resources and support they need to grow and hire.  “Like all entrepreneurs, women who own small businesses need access to affordable capital and long-term tax policies that encourage growth and hiring, and reduce economic uncertainty.   I am proud to stand by Senator Gillibrand in support of creating the conditions necessary for women-owned small businesses to thrive.”

Harriet Cornell, Chairwoman of the Rockland County Legislature, said, “Senator Gillibrand’s legislation to encourage investment in and extend tax credits for small businesses could not be better timed.  The NY Stock Exchange just released its annual survey of the economy and found that a majority of small businesses are currently having difficulty accessing capital, hurting job growth and the economy. Women-owned businesses now represent roughly 1/3 of all small business owners, and they are an economic engine.  Senator Gillibrand’s legislation will provide needed tools to create jobs and grow the economy.”

Nyack Mayor Jen White said, “Senator Gillibrand is a consistent, loud and powerful voice for women and small businesses, both facing particularly tough times.  We are so proud and honored to have her announcing this initiative right here in Nyack, a place that thrives on the success of small businesses and rejoices in the number of women who own them.”

Dara L. Onofrio, Esq., President of the Rockland Business Women’s Network, said, “For over 30 years, the Rockland Business Women’s Network (RBWN) has offered resources and support to women business leaders in Rockland County. We know our women-run businesses are in need of assistance. We appreciate all that Senator Gillibrand is doing to help provide the tools our members need to succeed,”

Michael J. DiTullo, President and CEO, Rockland Economic Development Corp, said, “Driving down risk and enhancing revenue is imperative to successful small business. More than 50% of early stage businesses are headed by women. The legislation proposed by Senator Gillibrand would help female entrepreneurs grow their book of business, thus create jobs and wealth in Rockland County and the Hudson River Valley. Research has shown that Federal tax credits and carryback provisions afford incentives and confidence for nimble firms to invest and take risk”.

New York State Senator David Carlucci said, “Small businesses are the heart and soul of New York State’s economy, and by reducing red tape and providing tax incentives, we can foster real economic growth. Senator Gillibrand’s legislation offers fresh thinking and a new approach that will help U.S. small businesses keep more of their hard earned money, reduce operating expenses, and ultimately invest in job creation.”

New York State Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee said, “I thank Senator Gillibrand for leading the way for needed tax incentives for women-owned businesses. The SUCCESS Act of 2012 would be a big step forward, and I look forward to working with the Senator in assisting Rockland’s women-owned businesses to take advantage of all available federal and state tax incentive programs.”

Maria Luisa Whittingham, Owner of Maria Luisa’s Boutique, said, “I have been in business for 25 years in Nyack, something I am celebrating this autumn. I am proud to be a woman who has found success in her chosen field. I wish my fellow female business owners every success and applaud the Senator, and her colleagues, on these efforts to extend the tax breaks for small businesses and women in particular. In line with our three-year growth plan, which includes expanding our brick-and-mortar business to include our web-based, e-commerce presence, we hope to take advantage of The Section 179 Expensing, an attractive incentive which we hope will benefit us in coming years. In this challenging economy, I along with other business owners, truly appreciate everything being done to help us maintain our livelihoods while hopefully expanding our businesses and continuing to grow and serve our communities. It not only helps us and our employees but also helps keep our downtowns growing and hopefully, thriving once again.”

Last fall, Senator Gillibrand held women’s economic empowerment roundtables across the state, and heard firsthand from small business owners. Small businesses play a critical role in the national and local economy, with more than 10 million firms owned by women. Between 1997 and 2007, women-owned businesses added roughly 500,000 jobs, while other private firms lost jobs. However, women, on average, start their business with eight times less funding than men, making tax credits a critical part of their business plan.

To bolster small business growth, Senator Gillibrand and Rep. Lowey have been working with a group of bipartisan women Senators to extend targeted small business tax benefits, which expired at the start of 2012, through at least 2013. These tax breaks are included in a larger bill aimed to help small businesses grow, called the Success Ultimately Comes from Capital, Contracting, Education, Strategic Partnerships and Smart Regulation (SUCCESS) Act of 2012.

In September 2010, Congress passed the Small Business Jobs Act, which provided a number of key tax benefits to American small businesses, such as eliminating capital gains tax on investments in small business, and cutting taxes for businesses that invest in new equipment. With roughly two-thirds of new jobs in the U.S. generated by small businesses, extending these tax provisions for businesses is a key way to encourage growth and hiring.

Small Business Tax Breaks Under the SUCCESS Act

These tax benefits include a number of provisions that help give small businesses the ability to grow and expand now by providing incentives to invest in small businesses, helping businesses make new investments in equipment, and extending benefits that help out new start-ups.

Tax Relief for Small Business Capital Gains: This provision would provide investors a strong incentive to invest in small business stock.  Prior to 2009, 50 percent of the gain of a small business stock was subject to tax. Senator Gillibrand supported legislation that increased this exclusion to 75 percent and the Small Business Jobs Act expanded that benefit to 100 percent of the gain. Eligible small businesses are defined as those with gross assets under $50 million and the stock must be held for at least five years.

Doubles Existing Deductions for Start-up Costs for New Small Businesses: New start-ups typically face a number of substantial expenses in their first year they get off the ground, such as permits, consulting costs, expenses in finding clients and customers and other needs, but are limited in the amount of expenses they can deduct that year on their taxes. This provision would extend the increased deduction for start-up expenses, from $5,000 to $10,000. Eligible expenses include studies of potential markets, products, labor markets, or transportation systems; advertisements for the opening of a new business; compensation for consultants and employees undergoing training and their instructors; and travel for the purpose of securing suppliers, distributors, and customers. 

Extends Section 179 Expensing: This provision allows small businesses to write-off up to $500,000 in tangible property, such as investments in machinery and plant equipment, or other physical equipment (such as refrigerators or stoves for a restaurant or gas pumps for a gas station).

General Business Credit Carryback: This provision would allow businesses to continue to carryback (i.e., count against profits from previous years) general business credits for up to five years.  This helps businesses who are currently not profitable by allowing them to claim credits against years where they were making money. 

Another measure included in the SUCCESS Act is the Expanding Access to Capital for Entrepreneurial Leaders (EXCEL) Act, which 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.