Congressman Jerry McNerney

Representing the 9th District of California
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Rep. McNerney Introduces Small Businesses Legislation to Hire Unemployed Workers

Sep 22, 2015
Press Release

Antioch, CA – In an effort to spur hiring in the small business community and boost local economies, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) introduced new legislation to help small businesses hire workers who have been previously unemployed or out of the workforce. The Small Business Relief Act would provide tax credits for small businesses that hire unemployed workers and make additional credits available to small businesses located in areas with high unemployment. Rep. McNerney announced the legislation today at a Small Business Expo in Antioch, co-hosted with California Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) to connect new and emerging small businesses with resources to help them grow.

“Small businesses are the engine for job creation and the backbone of a thriving, local economy, and we need to help them grow in our community. With my legislation, small businesses would be able to expand by hiring people who are currently unemployed. This would not only create local jobs, it would also put people who have been struggling back to work and boost economies in regions across the nation where there is particularly high unemployment,” said Rep. McNerney.

The San Joaquin Valley has long suffered from some of the highest unemployment rates in California. As of July 2015, the state’s unemployment rate stood at 6.2 percent compared to 8.9 percent in Stockton and 7.2 percent in Antioch, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Across the San Joaquin Valley there are still far too many people looking for gainful employment, and the unemployment rate in the region is much higher than the national rate. The Small Business Relief Act will help create the job opportunities needed to return people to the workforce, expand small business operations, and boost our economy. I’m committed to advocating for policies that improve job growth in the region. Making it easier for innovative small businesses to hire unemployed workers is one step toward a stronger economy,” added Rep. McNerney.

The Small Business Relief Act would provide a tax credit of 7.5 percent of wages earned by an employee in 2015, and five percent in 2016, applicable to the first $75,000 of an employee’s salary.

Small businesses in counties where the unemployment rate stands higher than the national rate would be eligible for a tax credit of 15 percent in 2015, and 10 percent in 2015.

To be eligible to receive these credits, small businesses must have annual revenue that doesn’t exceed $20 million or have no more than 100 full-time employees. The new employees working at the small businesses that would receive these tax credits must be full-time employees working at least 30 hours per week.

The Small Business Relief Act is supported by the Small Business Majority and the Central Valley Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

"The introduction of the Small Business Relief Act by Congressman McNerney today is encouraging news for small businesses and their employees. Legislation that incentivizes small employers to grow their businesses and create jobs will help strengthen our economy and move us further down the path to recovery. What’s more, this bill encourages small employers to hire workers who were previously unemployed, which will lower our unemployment rate, put more money in the pockets of consumers and bolster small employers’ bottom lines,” John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority.

“The Small Business Relief Act is a critical bill for our region and small business owners. Northern California has some of the highest unemployment regions in the country and I appreciate Congressman McNerney for seeking to provide tax incentives to small business owners to help them to hire more people in our area,” said Dennis Lee, Founder & CEO of Central Valley Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

Congressman McNerney has been a leader in expanding opportunities for small business owners and job creators in California’s 9th District. In the previous Congress, Rep. McNerney championed similar tax credit legislation to encourage small businesses to hire unemployed workers.


Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney