Small-business advocates are hailing the president's focus on tax cuts and other business incentives aimed at spurring the economy in his final State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
Other top small-business issues highlighted in the hour-long address included health-care and immigration reform.
Bush used the annual address to urge lawmakers to act quickly on a $150 billion economic stimulus package that includes a one-year doubling of the capital expensing limit to $250,000, among other temporary tax write-offs for small businesses. Adding extra provisions to the bill, which is currently before the Senate, would "delay or derail it, and neither option is acceptable," Bush said.
"We certainly agree with the president that Congress needs to move quickly to pass an economic stimulus package," Dan Danner, the executive vice president of the National Federation of Independent Business, said in a statement. Danner also applauded the president's call for permanent tax relief, saying small-business owners would benefit both for their "planning purposes and for the economic advantages."
Yet, Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), the chair of the House Small Business Committee, said many other small-business concerns were absent from the speech, including rising energy costs and access to capital.
"The president said we should empower people to grow the economy, unfortunately his state of the union address failed to lay out a vision to do that," Velazquez said.