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) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. A corporate tax cut proposal is getting a look.

President Barack Obama proposed overhauling the corporate tax code, mainly as an effort to get large businesses to keep their manufacturing -- and jobs -- on U.S. soil. In general, the plan seeks to reduce the corporate tax rate to 28% from 35%, eliminate accounting loopholes, improve transparency and simplify the code for small businesses, according to


Small businesses could see an eased tax burden and several incentives, including: doubling expensing to $1 million on company-related investments; doubling maximum gross receipts amount for

cash accounting

vs. accrual accounting; doubling the deduction for start-up expenses to $10,000; and expanding the health insurance tax credit for small businesses.

But the question remains as to whether a tax package such as this can get passed, especially in an election year. For small start-ups, the proposals don't really hit what matters to them: access to capital.

2. Businesses are coping with higher gas prices.

Small businesses are being squeezed from every angle in this tough economy, and the recent surge in

gas prices

could put some businesses over the edge.

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The Huffington Post

spoke to a few companies coping with the surge in gas prices. With most businesses trying to avoid raising prices to the consumer, it's inspiring creativity in how to make up for the difference and more attentiveness to daily expenses.

3. The Air Force is taking on more small-business contracting.


U.S. Air Force

is looking to boost how many contracts and sub-contracts go to small businesses, according to

Federal News Radio

. It's developing a series of metrics around small-business prime and sub-contracting and looking at a strategy to increase awards in total dollars and percentage of overall contracts.

"One of the things

in my preliminary assessment -- again, I've only been on the job for five months -- is the small-business community often gets involved with too little, too late," says Joseph McDade, the new director of the Air Force's Office of Small Business Programs. "If we try to get involved earlier in the life cycle of the procurement, we will get much better at market research. I think we have a lot of work to do there. To do that right, we have to get industry buy-in and come up with a process that we and industry are comfortable with."

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to:


To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to:!/LKulikowski


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