Weather Forecast


Good news for small businesses

The Small Business Jobs  Act, signed by President Obama on Sept. 27, includes a  particularly noteworthy provision, a one-year deduction of health care  costs for sole-proprietors on their 2010 tax returns.  

While it's only temporary relief from skyrocketing health insurance premiums that farmers and mainstreet businesses have been saddled with the last  decade, it's a first step and a foot in the door.

Health care reform passed in March with a small business tax credit of up to 35 percent of employees' health care costs for businesses with fewer than 25 employees. In Minnesota, more than 84 percent of small businesses -- approximately 78,000 total -- would likely qualify for this tax credit on their 2010 taxes.

Nearly 23,000 of them would qualify for the full 35 percent credit.

Check out the  Small Business Tax Credit Calculator at to find out whether your business qualifies, and if you're a farmer or small  business owner you can find out more about the sole-proprietor tax  credit there too.

The Rural Microbusiness Investment Credit Act, introduced this summer by Rep. Ron  Kind (D-WI) and Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA), would provide a 35 percent refundable tax cut, up to $10,000, to start or expand rural smallbusinesses with five or fewer employees.

Farmers and  rural small business owners should take advantage of the health care tax credits, and remind Senators and Representatives that rural America  wants and needs the microbusiness investment credit too.