President Obama announced his plan for a small business bailout in Landover, Maryland today. His speech outlined a plan that marks the next phase in the federal government’s $700 billion bailout program, a shift away from aiding large banks.
Here’s video from the Associated Press.
The text of Obama’s speech is posted here.
Among other things, the president said:
“Over the past decade and a half, America’s small businesses have created 65% of all new jobs in this country. And more than half of all working Americans working in the private sector are either employed by a small business or own one – more than half. These companies are the engine of job growth in America. They fuel our prosperity. And that is why they must be at the forefront of our recovery.
“The problem is, our small businesses have been some of the hardest hit by this recession. From the middle of 2007 through the end of 2008, small businesses lost 2.4 million jobs. And because banks shrunk from lending in the midst of the financial crisis, it has been difficult for entrepreneurs to take out the loans they need to start a business. For those who do own a small business, it’s been difficult to finance inventories, make payrolls, or expand if things are going well.”
He added: “There is still too little credit flowing to our small businesses. There are still too many entrepreneurs who can’t get the loan they need to open their doors and start hiring. There are still too many who are struggling to make payroll and stay open. And there are still too many successful small businesses that want to expand further and hire more but just don’t have the capital to do it.”