ASHEVILLE — Gov. Bev Perdue on Friday released a $17 million proposal of small business initiatives she wants state lawmakers to pass, saying the package would help protect the backbone of the state's economy and hasten the recovery.
Perdue, who unveiled her list in Asheville, wants legislators returning to work next month to approve or expand about a dozen tax incentives, grants and other provisions. She wants the state to guarantee a portion of federal small business loans and expand on her executive order giving favorable treatment to North Carolina firms seeking state contracts.
Small businesses are "a major driver in our economic recovery," Perdue said in a news release. "Supporting small businesses means supporting jobs for North Carolinians."
About $10 million of the package would be in the form of tax relief, Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said.
The governor wants lawmakers to give favorable capital gains treatment for the founding interests on a company, revive a tax credit for small businesses that provide health insurance to lower-income workers, and offer a tax break for their equipment purchases.
The package also seeks:
Money to help companies win federal technology grants and direct assistance to small family farms.
Restoration of funding to community colleges for small business assistance.
More money to promote tourism and revitalize downtown districts in small towns.
The North Carolina chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business said Friday that it supports Perdue's ideas.