3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: March 28

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

1. Restrictions are being eased to make it easier to get capital. The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed the final measure needed to get the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) onto President Barack Obama's desk to be signed into law. The JOBS Act makes it easier for companies to attract investors and comply with securities laws by easing Securities and Exchange Commission restrictions on soliciting new investors. It also permits so-called "crowdfunding" to allow entrepreneurs to raise equity from larger pools of smaller investors, according to the Washington Post.

The measure was first passed by the House earlier in March. The Senate passed its version of the bill last week, which included additional safeguards on crowdfunding.

According to Washington Post, private companies would be able to sell up to $50 million in shares as part of an IPO before having to register with the SEC under the new law. However, critics say bypassing critical filings opens the door to fraud and investor abuse.

In a separate measure, the House is expected to vote next month on a bill that would give growing small businesses temporary 20% tax cuts. A Senate proposal introduced this week grants $26 billion in tax credits to smaller companies that either hire new workers or increase the size of their payroll, the article states.

2. There's still time to sign up your growing company to ring the New York Stock Exchange. NYSE Euronext ( NYX) has partnered with StartUp America and the Entrepreneurs' Organization to launch the NYSE Big StartUp Competition, a first in a series of initiatives dedicated to entrepreneurism. In order to win the contest, applicants must be members of either of the two organizations (if you're not already, it's easy to sign up). Contestants have until April 15 to tell their story. Two winners will be announced on May 10.

3. Here are two options to help small business owners lower their taxes. Tax time is in full effect and with April 17 quickly approaching, small business owners still looking for ways to lower their 2011 tax bill might want to look at their retirement savings options. If you have a 401(k) plan for your business consider making it a profit-sharing contribution. There is still time to do that and deduct it from your 2011 taxes. If you don't, you can tax-defer up to $5,000 in an IRA, according to Forbes.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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