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NEWS
August 17, 2012 | By Alana Semuels
GLEN ALLEN, Va. - Small businesses may not be thriving in this economy, but just why is up for debate. Republicans blame President Obama, while some say small-business owners are hesitant to hire or do much of anything else until they see who wins the White House in November. Rep. Paul D. Ryan focused the blame on the Obama administration Friday as he visited a Virginia town that is home to two fellow Republicans, Rep. Eric Cantor and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “We should not have a government that stands in the way, that erects barriers to small business,” Ryan said at a rally at Deep Run High School, just outside of Richmond.
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NEWS
July 12, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- One of the top items on President Obama's to do list -- a 10% tax break for small businesses that make new hires -- got tangled in an election-year tax debate as Republicans led a filibuster to block the measure. The legislation would have provided the tax credit to companies that hire new employees or otherwise expand their payrolls this year, a typically popular approach among the GOP. Republicans in the Senate did not necessarily object to the measure, but they protested Thursday after Democrats refused to allow votes on other amendments.
BUSINESS
July 11, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are trying to put a check mark next to one of the economic initiatives on President Obama's to-do list: a 10% small-business tax break for companies that expand payrolls. The Senate overwhelmingly advanced the measure Tuesday, clearing a procedural hurdle on a bipartisan 80-14 vote. But it is likely to run into resistance later in the week as Republicans seek to tack on more controversial amendments, including those that would repeal the nation's healthcare law or extend the tax breaks enacted during the George W. Bush administration that expire at the end of the year.
BUSINESS
July 7, 2012 | By Ryan Faughnder and Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Behind the weak job growth numbers and the uncertainty about the economic recovery, small-business owners see shrinking consumer confidence sapping demand for their products and services. Many small firms say they are barely staying afloat and won't hire until they see signs of more stability in the marketplace. That sentiment doesn't bode well for efforts to push the economy forward. Small business, the conventional engine of job growth, has been particularly active in the last two years in driving the recovery from the Great Recession.
BUSINESS
July 5, 2012 | By Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times
Fashion designer Alicia Estrada has gone from selling homemade dresses at rockabilly concerts and car shows to running a booming clothing line. After running Stop Staring for 14 years, she wants to expand at a time when the economy is making it hard for entrepreneurs to succeed and banks aren't lending like they used to. She's now getting help from an unlikely source: Wall Street. UBS, Switzerland's biggest bank, put her in a program that matches small-business owners with financial advisors and business experts.
BUSINESS
June 15, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Immigrant-owned operations make up 18% of all small businesses in the U.S., a growing group that currently employs 4.7 million people and brings in $776 billion in receipts. Back in 1990s, owners born outside the U.S. made up just 12% of all small-business bosses, according to a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute . Currently, immigrants constitute 13% of the overall American population. But they own more than half of all the country's laundries and dry cleaners, 49% of its grocery stores and 37% of its restaurants.
BUSINESS
June 12, 2012 | By Chad Terhune, Los Angeles Times
Some California health insurers are proposing to raise small-business rates more than 10% next month, drawing scrutiny from state regulators. Aetna Inc., which drew the ire of state insurance officials for a rate hike earlier this year, wants to increase premiums 10% on average, and as high as 24% for some employers. Anthem Blue Cross, the state's largest for-profit insurer and a unit of WellPoint Inc., has proposed boosting rates 13%. Blue Shield of California is looking to charge some small employers up to 6% more.
BUSINESS
May 17, 2012 | By Ricardo Lopez
Almost 40% of Los Angeles small businesses owners are confident the local economy will improve in the next year and boost their businesses, according to survey results released by Bank of America on Thursday. The inaugural survey of 1,000 small businesses nationwide asked owners about their outlook on the economy and concerns that may affect their businesses.   About three-quarter of the businesses surveyed were worried about the strength of the U.S. dollar and commodities prices, such as gas and oil, the survey found.
BUSINESS
March 15, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times
A House-passed bill that aims to make it easier for small businesses to raise money also weakens investor protections and could create the next generation of telemarketing boiler rooms, according a growing number of critics such as AARP and federal securities regulators. Senate Democrats, in a bid to protect seniors and other potentially vulnerable investors, are working to toughen the legislation. The bill was passed by the GOP-controlled House last week in a rare display of bipartisanship.
BUSINESS
March 12, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
California's small-business owners worry about the economy, regulatory burdens and taxes, but they're also concerned about the deteriorating quality of public education and crumbling roads and other public works. Those are the findings of an annual survey of 1,067 small-business executives just released by Small Business California, an advocacy group. Employers -- just over half of them with 19 workers or less -- have trouble finding capable staff and then have trouble navigating clogged freeways, said Scott Hauge, a San Francisco insurance broker who is Small Business California's founder and president.
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