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by Emily Maltby

The Small Business Jobs Act simmering in Washington contains a host of new tax credits and lending measures that are designed to spur hiring at small businesses. But business owners and advocacy groups have mixed reviews on the provisions.

Bill Rys, tax counsel for the National Federation of Independent Business, a Washington lobbying group, says one of the most promising incentives in the bill—which the House is expected to pass this week—are new expensing rules for equipment and property improvements.

A business that uses the deduction to expand, such as a restaurant that adds a bar, may hire more employees as a result, Mr. Rys says. “This also benefits the construction industry…and they’ve been hit hard.”

Vermont Woods Studios LLC, a five-employee firm in Vernon, Vt., that helps U.S. furniture makers market and sell their products, says it may be able to put that deduction to good use. The company, now operating out of Chief Executive Peggy Farabaugh’s house and a friend’s farm, is “busting at the seams” and would like to move into a renovated commercial space, Ms. Farabaugh says.

While Ms. Farabaugh anticipates doubling the business this year, which is currently pulling in $800,000 in annual sales, she says consumer spending has been up and down. That’s prevented Ms. Farabaugh from moving into a new location and from adding to her overworked staff.

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