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BOB MOON: President Obama, this afternoon, will sign a much-anticipated small business tax incentive bill designed to create new jobs. The bill includes $12 billion in tax cuts for small businesses and a new $30 billion lending fund to give banks more incentives to lend to smaller companies. Marketplace's John Dimsdale joins us from Washington. Good morning, John.
JOHN DIMSDALE: Good morning, Bob.
MOON: How does this new fund work?
DIMSDALE: Well the Treasury Department will be able to offer smaller banks very cheap loans if the banks show that they're lending it to small businesses. The more a bank lends to small borrowers in the community, the cheaper the money is to them.
MOON: And how effective do they hope that will be?
DIMSDALE: Well that's the big question. Democrats say that there will be lots of new investments in small businesses, creating as many as half a million jobs. But not everybody agrees. Many small business owners say they're problem isn't that they can't get a loan, it's that they don't have enough customers and they have no plans to borrow any money until they have more business.
MOON: Anything else in this bill that's going to help out here?
DIMSDALE: Well, owners of small businesses will be able to depreciate investments in equipment more quickly. They can deduct more of their health insurance costs, and they're excluded from capital gains when they sell certain stock.
MOON: Now individual workers, will they see any benefits?
DIMSDALE: Well if you're a small business employee, with a company 401(k) retirement plan, there are some added incentives to convert your plan from a regular account, where you pay taxes in retirement, to a Roth account, where you pay the taxes up front, but all of your withdrawals are tax-free later on.
MOON: Marketplace's John Dimsdale, thanks.
DIMSDALE: Thanks Bob.