Business

Sen. Hirono Introduces Small Business Legislation

May 8, 2015, 1:23 PM HST
* Updated May 8, 1:26 PM
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Two pieces of legislation to assist small businesses in Hawai’i and across the country were introduced by United States Senator Mazie Hirono this week.

The legislation comes during National Small Business Week. Senator Hirono herself is a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

“All small businesses in Hawai’i and across the country deserve a fair shot to succeed and National Small Business Week serves as a reminder that small businesses create 90 percent of Hawai’i’s jobs and entrepreneurs are at the forefront of building a more sustainable economy that creates opportunity and prosperity for all,” said Senator Hirono. “The bills I’ve introduced this week focus on two things: Helping make it easier for entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground, and making it easier for clean energy entrepreneurs and manufacturers to access new markets and opportunities. As a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, I’ll continue fighting to make sure that anyone with ingenuity and commitment to working hard has the resources and support to start, build, and grow their business.”

With the Small Business Start-Up Savings Account Act, originally introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell in the 113th Congress, entrepreneurs will be able to contribute up to $10,000 a year into a Small Business Start-Up Savings Account. The money saved could be used for purchasing equipment of facilities, marketing, training, or paying incorporation and accounting fees for starting a business. These accounts would world similar to an individual retirement account, where spending from the account wouldn’t be included in gross income.

Officials estimate that over a lifetime, it is possible entrepreneurs could accumulate $150,000 in a Small Business Start-Up Savings Account, which could be taken out tax free.

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Originally introduced by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, The Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act will help small and medium sized clean technology businesses find new markets in the United States and around the world by creating a Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Fund, administered by the International Trade Administration.

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The Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Fund will assist clean technology firms with export assistance, including finding and navigating foreign markets to export their goods and services abroad. The bill will also expand the domestic clean technology manufacturing industry by promoting policies that will reduce production costs and encourage innovation, investment, and productivity in the domestic clean energy technology industry, which will help domestic companies increase demand and create jobs.

Senator Hirono says she is committed to supporting Hawai’i’s small businesses and is continuing to focus on expanding education and training opportunities, supporting innovation, and building a sustainable economic future in Hawai’i.

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