3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Feb. 29

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. The president's 2013 budget is a mixed bag for small business. While it's commendable that President Barack Obama is seeking to reduce the federal deficit to $901 billion in his 2013 budget, the changes he is proposing to the Small Business Administration are a mixed bag for small businesses, says Biz2Credit's Rohit Arora.

Obama plans to raise taxes on households making more than $250,000 a year. This could be a drain to small-business owners who pay taxes on their profit at the individual level.

On the other hand, Obama proposed a 3% increase in the Small Business Administration's budget, with the bulk of the money going toward guaranteeing more loans to small business. The president is proposing to lower the cap on the SBA's flagship 7(a) loan program to $16 billion from $17.5 billion. The proposals, which give more money to entrepreneurship training for veterans, would also reduce funding to its network of Small Business Development Centers.

The budget also proposes a tax credit to small businesses with fewer than 50 employees that add jobs.

2. House Republicans introduce small-business legislation. House Republicans on Tuesday introduced six bills to facilitate small-business capital and job creation. According to The Associated Press, the legislation would ease regulation to "make it easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to attract investors and go public."

The legislation comes at a time when both parties are looking to convince voters they have the best solution to job creation.

3. The home care industry may have to raise pay.The elder care industry is one of the fastest-growing industries, and dominated by small businesses. Health and personal care aides are one of the least glamorous jobs to do and among the lowest paid.

According to an analysis by FranData, there are about 22,000 home health care establishments, with the largest controlling less than 5% of the market. Franchisors are clamoring to capture more business, but they might have to start paying their employees more. Many employers have been exempt from providing home care workers minimum wage and overtime due to a loophole in a federal law that considers them "companions" -- a law not originally meant for professional care workers. Critics wonder how repealing the law might affect access to home care.

Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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