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Business leaders are cautiously optimistic about new job creation bills.

Business leaders are cautiously optimistic about new job creation bills.

CREATED Mar 7, 2012

Reporter: Valerie Cavazos

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- In the political arena -- the focus is on jobs, jobs, jobs. Businesses have been shouting from the rooftops they need some relief to help them grow. Now there seems to be a hint of bipartisanship on new federal and state bills that could give businesses the boost they need to create more jobs -- leaving local businesses leaders cautiously optimistic. 

There is no estimate of how many jobs the new federal and state bills would produce, but the Tucson Metro and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce say a bipartisan push is on to help businesses expand and give more people paychecks. Yesterday, business leaders were at the State Capital to offer their input and feedback to lawmakers.

Hispanic Chamber President Lea Marquez Peterson said, "I'm hearing now, slow and hesitant growth. People are now in need of additional assistance since they've laid off people over the past two years and they're ready to grow, but it's tentative."

At the federal level. -- the new Jobs Act bundles together six modest bills and is designed to help give small businesses' access to money they need to get started or expand. Both chambers say they're still seeing a bottleneck with small business lending. "Absolutely still needed," said Peterson, "Here have been a number of federal stimulus dollars provided to community banks and otherwise, and we're not seeing that on the streets."

Tucson Metro Chamber Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Robert Medler said, "In Tucson, small businesses can't get the loans to go out and buy the new equipment they need to expand so they can hire employees."

On the state level, House Bill 2815 is a new package of tax cuts and regulation relief. "The state has been working to lower the capital and various income taxes -- lowering the threshold, but business coming to Arizona are still not growing," said Medler.

And if businesses are burdened with regulations they could file for an income tax credit, but this measure is drawing the most fire. "I think you might see more modifications happening within the commerce committee at the state legislature," said Peterson.

The other components of the state jobs bill are an expansion of the Arizona Jobs Training Fund and permission for a company to declare a net operating loss in the same tax year, which helps businesses plan for long-term growth.

On Capitol Hill -- the House is set to vote on the Jobs Act bill tomorrow. And at the State Capital -- House bill 2815 passed the House and has moved on to the Senate.