Extending Microenterprise Tax Credit a show of support for small businesses

Small Business

With a nearly-unanimous vote last month, the Nebraska Legislature retained and improved one of the only incentives available to businesses of five or fewer employees.

After a year when many small businesses shuttered and others were forced to pause plans for future growth, the approval of Legislative Bill (LB) 366 also sends an important message to microentrepreneurs—the services they provide are a worthy and important part of our state’s economy. 

Introduced by Sen. Tom Briese, LB 366 makes improvements to the Microenterprise Tax Credit, including increasing the maximum tax credit from $10,000 to $20,000, allowing family members to apply the credit to unrelated businesses, and extending the program another 10 years.

Since its inception in 2005, the Microenterprise Tax Credit—only available to businesses with five or fewer full-time equivalent employees—has been a successful strategy for growing and sustaining the local economy in communities big and small, from Omaha to Chadron. 

Investment credits can be earned on expenditures for securing new buildings, repairing or maintaining Nebraska-based property, and purchasing needed equipment. Hiring Nebraska residents and increasing wages are also eligible expenditures. Some recipients have even used it to invest in professional services, such as advertising.

From hair salons and restaurants to grocery and hardware stores, more than 80% of the state’s entrepreneurs fall into the microbusiness category. Oftentimes, these are our essential businesses.

We applaud Sen. Tom Briese for championing this important legislation, Speaker Mike Hilgers for prioritizing it, and the Legislature for supporting these essential entrepreneurs.