A bipartisan vote for job creation

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mark Warner (D-VA) published an op-ed in which they tout a new bipartisan plan to boost job creating among small businesses, called the Startup Act.

Among the Startup Act’s proposals are:

  • To permanently exempt capital gains taxes on the sale of certain small business stock held for at least five years, which will, in the authors’ words, give “investors an incentive to partner with entrepreneurs and provide financial stability at a critical juncture of firm growth.”
  • To reduce the corporate income tax on certain new businesses during the first three taxable years of profit;
  • To require all government agencies to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed new regulations that have an economic impact of $100M+, so as to determine the potential effects of those regs on the formation and growth of new businesses;
  • To make it easier for foreign-born students who graduate from U.S. universities with advanced degrees in STEM areas (science, tech, engineering, math) to get a green card;
  • To expand taxpayer-funded research at U.S. universities;
  • To assess state and local policies that aid in the development of new businesses.

I’m not fully on-board with a couple of the above proposals and am skeptical of how they might be received in Washington, but am otherwise glad to see that some in government are embracing the plight of Americans and Westchester residents alike: that is, a dire need for a more small-business-friendly environment. Count me in.

Community banks feeling the love


Earlier this month, I reported that in the year ending June 30, 2011, The Westchester Bank posted increases in deposits and assets of 29% and 30% respectively.

This morning, UBS announced that it would eliminate 3,500 positions – this coming a week after Bank of America announced thousands of cuts. Oh, and BofA shares are at their lowest levels since March 2009 as the country’s largest bank by assets continues to struggle with the aftermath of the mortgage crisis.

Sense a trend here?

Community banks are on the rise in Westchester, with the county boasting branches of a dozen such institutions. These are now the banks the small businesses are going to for loans. Many of the county’s small businesses are thirsting for capital, and this time around it will come down to the community banks and their collective ability to respond to that need.