Small business uncertain over Obama jobs plan

Small businesses create most of the jobs in this country. CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers visited one business in Illinois to find out whether President Obama's plan would create jobs there.

Scott Bartmess and his partners started a fire and security alarm business six years ago.

"We've got 24 people in our company, total," he says.

Bartmess is nervous about the direction of the economy, but he's bullish about his business. He's turning away clients because he doesn't have enough cash to hire new employees.

"What would be the difference between the number of people you can afford to hire versus what you would be like to able to hire?" Bowers asked Bartmess.

"About six or seven people," he said.

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Bartmess likes President Obama's proposal to cut the payroll tax in half. It could save the company more than $50,000 dollars a year -- enough to pay most of the cost of another worker.

He was watching Obama on TV deliver his recent speech at a joint session of Congress. "Starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or if they raise workers wages," said the president.

The proposed hiring tax credits would be a benefit too. But $4,000 for each new worker is not enough to send him on a hiring spree.

"The cost to hire anybody is gonna be greater than I can foresee our government ever giving us a tax credit for," said Obama.

However, what Bartmess wanted to hear most was something that is not in the president's plan. He wants banks to extend more credit to small businesses like his.

"We propped up the banks that were too big fail," he said, "and the ones that were too big to fail were too big to care."

In reference to the Obama speech, Bartmess added: "We didn't talk about how we're going to get the banks lending again. I didn't hear that at all."

Barmess says he needs around a million dollars to pay for all the jobs he wants to create. So for now, he plans to put his growth plans on hold.

  • Cynthia Bowers

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