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Raleigh company a national model for part of Obama's jobs plan

Posted July 13, 2012

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— A Raleigh company could be a national role model when it comes to spurring success among small businesses, which President Barack Obama's administration says will help get the U.S. economy back on track.

Raleigh Denim, a husband-and-wife operation based in downtown Raleigh, ships jeans, handmade with only American-made material, all over the world.

In September, Small Business Administrator Karen Mills used the company's workshop to launch an effort to help small businesses think globally.

"It was a chance for this company to grow with the help of the Small Business Administration, Mills said Monday in an interview with WRAL News in Washington D.C. "It's another example of how some kinds of manufacturing are coming back to this country."

Manufacturing job numbers have actually grown for the past two years, Mills says, and more are being created in the United States than ever before.

"It's in small companies that, very often, we are able to help," Mills said. "That's how we're going to keep America competitive and build this economy that's built to last."

Monday at the White House, Obama talked about creating jobs by helping small business with tax breaks.

The proposed legislation, in part, calls for a 10 percent income tax credit to entrepreneurs who hire new workers and raise their existing employees' wages.

The Obama administration says 170,000 firms in North Carolina would be eligible for the proposed tax cut.

The president is calling on Congress to pass new tax cuts for small businesses, but Mills said he's not waiting for Congress to act.

"We are doing a whole set of things, particularly in North Carolina, that allow small businesses to prosper," she said.

Mills says that last year was a record year for lending from the Small Business Administration in North Carolina, and so far this fiscal year, the SBA has delivered more than $385 million through more than 600 loans in the state.  Karen Mills Raleigh company a national model for part of Obama's jobs plan

She says her agency is also working with private investment groups to raise capital, with no cost to taxpayers.

"The big challenge, however, is getting people to really pull the trigger," said Harvey Schmitt, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

He says businesses are interested in moving to the Triangle or expanding, yet they are apprehensive because of the uncertainty in Washington.

The good news, he says, is that the chamber has seen a pickup in the number of small-business owners looking in Wake County.

Last year, the chamber had 19 visits from interested businesses. Already this year, there have been 23.

"We're seeing a lot of success with existing industry," Schmitt said. "We're just not seeing a lot of companies relocating into the market, like we have in the past."

That, Schmitt says, could happen after the election.

"I think people are waiting for some certainty about what the future is going to bring – whatever that might be," he said.

Schmitt says that, because Wake County is an attractive market, people are moving to the area looking for jobs.

Even though, there was an increase of 11,500 new jobs last year in the county, he says, at the same time, 9,700 new people moved into the workforce.

"So, the impact on the unemployment rate, even though we had a big pickup in job creation, really didn't evidence itself," Schmitt said. "That's another challenge we've got, because we're an attractive market."

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  • piene2 Jul 16, 2012

    "That is the problem, POTUS has to work with Congress, not sign Executive Orders to circumvent the powers of Congress.
    james27613"

    All congress is doing is attempting to sabotage everything President Obama is trying to do for us. He is exactly right in going around them.

  • WooHoo2You Jul 13, 2012

    "I think it's great that it's huge news that a two person company is national roll model. Now all we need is 7 million more two person companies and we'll be back in business."

    My thoughts exactly.-Nancy

    They are HIGHLIGHTING them as an EXAMPLE...the spin cycle is deep anytime a private enterprise makes money. Don't worry guy, the sky is still falling, Obama is going to take all your guns, and you will finally get to use all that "food insurance" you have been hoarding!

  • abbynork Jul 13, 2012

    brucelig is absolutely correct.

  • westernwake1 Jul 13, 2012

    This SBA (Small Business Administration) program to help small companies export their products has been in place for over 20 years. How is it suddenly part of Obama's job plan?

  • WooHoo2You Jul 13, 2012

    That is the problem, POTUS has to work with Congress, not sign Executive Orders to circumvent the powers of Congress.- james27613

    You must not be referring to Obama because he has signed less executive orders per year than the last three or four presidents.

  • WooHoo2You Jul 13, 2012

    If this is BO's BIG PLAN, WHY has he waited 3 1/2 years???- computer trainer

    He is waiting on the GOP's alternative healthcare plan...its been in the "works" for longer than that ;)

  • computer trainer Jul 13, 2012

    If this is BO's BIG PLAN, WHY has he waited 3 1/2 years???

  • Nancy Jul 13, 2012

    "I think it's great that it's huge news that a two person company is national roll model. Now all we need is 7 million more two person companies and we'll be back in business."

    My thoughts exactly.

  • geosol Jul 13, 2012

    True Americans know that any story with the name of the President of the United States has got to be BAD, BAD, BAD!!! This is just HORRIBLE news!! Its vitally important that we can only have stories about failure and problems right now. Right wingers aren't happy unless they're mad about something.

  • WooHoo2You Jul 13, 2012

    Solyndra was another small business Obama success story, right?-timexliving

    Did you know Romney gave tax payer backed loans to solar companies in MA when he governor and 1/3 of them went under? Or did Rush forget to tell you ;)

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