Local Politics

Perdue wants tax breaks, support for small business

Posted April 9, 2010 12:04 p.m. EDT
Updated April 9, 2010 12:22 p.m. EDT

— Gov. Beverly Perdue on Friday unveiled a package of tax breaks and other support for small businesses in North Carolina that she says will boost the state economy.

“Small businesses are the backbone of North Carolina’s economy and a major driver in our economic recovery,” Perdue said in a statement. “They put our friends, neighbors and family members to work. They anchor our communities. Supporting small businesses means supporting jobs for North Carolinians.”

The JobsNOW Small Business Package, which must be approved by state lawmakers before taking effect, includes tax incentives, grants and an expansion of the small business preference for companies seeking contracts with state government.

The tax incentives include giving small-business owners a tax credit of $250 per employee for providing health insurance to employees making less $45,000, treating capital gains taxes favorably for entrepreneurs, expanding the state's Qualified Business Venture Tax Credit and giving small businesses a tax break on equipment purchases.

Perdue also wants to reserve state construction projects under $500,000 for small businesses and allow state agencies to weigh bids submitted by small businesses at 95 percent of the bid price to give them a better chance of winning a larger contract.

Officials didn't provide details as to what businesses would qualify for the special provisions, other than note the health insurance tax credit applies to firms of 45 or fewer employees.

Support for small businesses could be boosted, Perdue said, by restoring funding to the statewide Small Business Assistance Network within the state’s 58 community colleges, using Web-based buyer-supplier networks so North Carolina businesses can buy and sell to each other, providing matching state grants to businesses seeking federal Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer contracts, expanding promotion of North Carolina as a tourist destination and providing assistance to family farms to improve energy efficiency, develop new markets and cultivate new value-added products.