The National Restaurant Association praised the Senate passage of legislation that will help many small business owners in the restaurant industry create jobs. The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (H.R. 2847) extends the temporary increase in expensing for small businesses and includes a payroll tax holiday and tax credit for employers who hire and retain certain employees. The bill will now be sent to the White House for the President’s signature.

“We are pleased that this package includes incentives to protect small businesses and create jobs,” says Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association president and CEO. “This package is good for the economy, and is positive news for the restaurant industry. Every dollar spent dining out generates $2.34 in business for other industries.

“As the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with a workforce of nearly 13 million, the restaurant industry has enormous potential to create the jobs America needs. The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act will fuel our industry’s job-creation efforts for the benefit of the economy and our entire country.”

Last month, the National Restaurant Association sent a letter to members of the U.S. Senate supporting these tax provisions. Under the payroll tax holiday, employers who hire long-term unemployed workers would not be required to pay the worker’s 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax, up to the maximum social security taxable wage of $106,800, for the duration of 2010. In addition, the bill includes a job retention credit that allows employers to claim a credit on their 2011 tax return for each retained employee. The bill also provides an extension through 2010 of the temporary increase in the annual amount small businesses can expense from $125,000 to $250,000.

While supportive of the Jobs bill provisions, the NRA has also strongly advocated for other tax provisions that would create additional restaurant industry job growth. The association has urged Congress to complete work on legislation that would retroactively extend the 15-year depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements and new construction through 2010. In addition, the association has advocated for Congress to increase the deduction for business meals and entertainment from 50 to 80 percent—something that would help restaurants, small businesses, and the overall economy.

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