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Tax Day is coming, and while it is often a dreaded task, small business owners are celebrating the first year of significant relief under the new federal tax code.

As the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Pacific regional administrator, I see firsthand how small businesses in our local communities are responding to the tax reform and creating more jobs.

The positive impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law by President Trump is clear. The economy outperformed expectations for the second year in a row in 2018.

Nevada added 48,400 jobs over the year, the largest annual increase seen in February since 2006, with unemployment rate at 4.3%. Employment increased by 3.5% over the year, more than double the current U.S. growth rate of 1.7%.

Employment in Nevada’s small business firms with less than 100 employees totaled nearly 651,000, establishing a new record high, according to Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

With the tax savings they are seeing, businesses are investing in their companies and their employees by raising wages, providing bonuses, increasing benefits and creating more jobs.

Small businesses have responded to the tax reform by increasing its workforce and raising wages. The booming economy is paying off for American workers who are seeing more money in their pockets. Hourly wage growth is exceeding 3% for the first time in almost a decade.

With the strong economy, there has never been a better time to start or grow a business. Whether entrepreneurs need access to capital, business counseling, or help breaking into international markets, the SBA has the resources to help. I encourage small business owners interested in taking advantage of the new tax laws to work with their tax professionals to see if their business qualifies for important deductions.

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Michael Vallante is the regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Region IX. He oversees the agency’s programs and services in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam.

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