Small-business advocate says lending bill will not help economy

"The concerns and needs of most business owners go much deeper, and this legislation does not address broader issues related to taxes, regulations and excessive spending which threaten to aggravate currently poor economic conditions," she said in prepared remarks. "At the end of the day, proposed tax hikes along with legislation and regulatory initiatives in the pipeline will drive business costs higher and drain more private capital from our economy."

The Senate is expected to take up the small-business bill shortly after it returns from the August recess. The legislation provides $12 billion in tax relief and creates a $30 lending pool that will go directly to small-business owners. 

Kerrigan, however, argues that new regulations from the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency and the IRS, along with the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and new proposals affecting telecommunications, energy, healthcare and financial services have helped small-business owners feel as if they are under siege from Washington. These issues have also stopped them from hiring until they have a clearer picture of what the regulatory landscape will look like in the near future. 

"At this point, it appears that our economy will stay weak and business activity and hiring will remain anemic until business owners see a massive shift in the political environment," Kerrigan said. "It seems most business owners are done with this Congress, and they are at least hoping that a divided government next year will bring practical, pro-growth governing policies to Washington."