Commentary: Finally, small businesses get some relief

The Miami HeraldSeptember 17, 2010 

Small businesses in Florida are hurting as the recession has made bankers queasy about lending money — even to businesses that have always paid their bills but now need a lifeline until the economy improves.

With construction jobs in the dumps for more than two years and the BP oil disaster in the Gulf this summer having caused millions of dollars in losses to Florida's tourism industry, many small businesses are teetering and need help.

The Small Business Jobs Act provides the type of stimulus small businesses need — not a year from now but today. The legislation, pushed by the Obama administration, was stalled in the U.S. Senate, held victim to partisan sniping.

Then, a political "miracle" happened.

Two Republicans split from their party's intransigence and backed the legislation this week. Florida Sen. George LeMieux and Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio crossed party lines for good reason: small businesses in their states desperately need the help.

It's also true neither senator is running for election. Whatever the motivation, the result is a plus for small businesses and Florida's economy. Sen. LeMieux deserves credit for helping break the stalemate.

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