Supporting Small Business

Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and employ almost half of all private sector employees.  

As we work towards full economic recovery, we know that small businesses are critical to job creation.

The Small Business Jobs Act

Senator Warner meets with small business owners in Richmond.

HR 5297, The Small Business Jobs Act, (Click here to read a summary of the bill's provisions) was signed into law on in the fall of 2010.  This bill included significant tax relief and new tools to help our small businesses obtain access to credit in order to hire new workers and replenish inventories. This package of small business incentives was fully paid for, and did not add one dollar to the federal budget deficit.

As part of the Small Business Jobs Act, the Treasury Department approved Virginia’s application in August 2011 for up to $18 million in additional federal loan support to the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority. Virginia officials expect this additional federal support to leverage up to $288 million in new small business financing, and state officials have indicated it could help to create or retain nearly 43,000 jobs among Virginia’s small businesses.

This program is targeted for those small businesses that may not otherwise qualify for loans under conventional bank underwriting criteria.  They typically have a solid track record in business, but have struggled the last few years with decreased cash flow, collateral and lower assessed property values. Senator Warner discussed this initiative and fine-tuned the program during a series of extremely productive roundtable discussions conducted with hundreds of Virginia’s small business owners and local bankers in Bristol, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Norfolk, Richmond and Staunton during 2010.

The bill also created the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) to help small lenders obtain low-cost capital in order to increase their small business lending. As of September 30, 2011, ten financial institutions across Virginia have received over $145 million in capital for small business lending.  Small businesses can find a list of participating lenders here. 

For more information about Virginia’s small business programs, please visit the Virginia Department of Business Assistance. For information on the U.S. Treasury Department’s programs for small business financing, refer to the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

The Small Business Jobs Act also assists Virginia’s entrepreneurs and business owners in many other important ways, including: 

  • Raising Small Business Administration loan guarantees;
  • Lowering SBA fees;
  • Extending expiring bonus depreciation provisions;
  • Allowing businesses to write-off 50% of the cost of certain capital expenditures immediately; and
  • Temporarily increasing the amount of start-up expenditures that entrepreneurs can deduct from their taxes, from $5,000 to $10,000, offering an immediate incentive for someone with a new business idea to invest in starting up a new small business.

For further information about the small business tax provisions of the Small Business Jobs Act, please visit 

Senator Warner's Progress:

  • Since 2012, Sen. Warner has hosted a series of events across Virginia examining how crowdfunding can be used as a tool to increase startup businesses’ access to capital, and to help grow existing small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Senator Warner introduced Startup Act 2.0 (S. 3217) with Senator Moran (R-KS), Senator Rubio (R-FL), and Senator Coons (D-DE) which built upon Senator Warner’s work with Senator Moran in 2011 on the original Startup Act (S. 1965).  Startup 2.0 is focused on helping startup businesses recruit and retain global talent, encourage more R&D and investment in startups, generate new intellectual property and technology, and create new jobs and economic opportunities.
  • Sen. Warner cosponsored a bipartisan plan, the Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act, to make it easier for growing firms to access capital by going public, so they can expand and create jobs.
  • Sen. Warner joined a bipartisan majority of the Senate in voting for passage of the Small Business Jobs Act, legislation that provides incentives for small businesses to grow and hire new workers.  The bill included his proposal to expand the successful Virginia Capital Access Program on a national scale to encourage lending credit to small businesses hurt by the credit crunch, allocating $1.5 billion to state programs designed to leverage private financing to spur $15 billion in new lending to small businesses and small manufacturers. The bill also included tax relief measures for small businesses. This legislation was fully paid for, and did not add one dollar to the federal budget deficit.  Click here to read a summary of the bill's provisions

Senator Warner's Speeches:

 For specific help for your business: 

  • The Richmond Office of the Small Business Administration is available through or (804) 771-2400. Ask them about local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) that hold counseling and training programs. 
  • If you still need assistance, please prepare a letter explaining your concerns and mail it to my Norfolk constituent services office at: Office of Senator Mark Warner, World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street, Suite 4900, Norfolk, VA 23510.

Facts & Resources

We have included a number of links to resources and information about the facts and details of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act.  

Recent News on Small Business Support

Here is what Senator Warner has been doing recently to support small businesses: