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What Should Congress Do to Help Your Small Business?

What Should Congress Do to Help Your Small Business?Some entrepreneurs feel the best thing Congress can do is stay out of their business. Others would like to see whole federal agencies dismantled, starting with the IRS and proceeding on from there.

With the new Republican House of Representatives, some business owners are hopeful there's a better chance of seeing their desired agenda become law. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Campaign for Free Enterprise recently issued a 10-point legislative to-do list for 2011.

What's on the priority list? Here are a few highlights:

  •  Push for the StartUp Visa Act of 2011, which would make it easier for foreign nationals to start businesses here in the States.
     
  •  Support The American Research and Competitiveness Act of 2011, which would simplify and improve the research and development (R&D) tax credit. The credit would be made permanent, and the "alternative simplified credit" would be increased from 14 percent to 20 percent.
     
  • Increase funding and streamline the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cut the ridiculous backlog of applications from the current average of 35 months down to 20 months or less. As it is, entrepreneurs can't move forward aggressively to market new inventions if they have to wait nearly three years to know if their ideas are protected.


How can you get involved? The Chamber created a new Center for Entrepreneurship in February to assist business owners looking to cut bureaucratic red tape, so you might check in there.

You can also call or email your legislators and let them know your views. Some entrepreneurs find state and local laws more of a burden, so you might want to call your statehouse, too.

What Congressional moves do you think would most help entrepreneurs? Leave a comment and tell us your priorities.

Carol Tice, a freelance writer, is chief executive of TiceWrites Inc. in Bainbridge Island, Wash. She blogs about freelance writing at Make a Living Writing. Email her at carol@caroltice.com.

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