A lobbyist for small businesses acknowledges an incentive package approved by the House might not cause any business to add jobs, but he says that in this economy, any tax relief is welcome.

National Federation of Independent Business State Director Brad Jones applauds House passage of a bill that could give businesses a $600 tax break if they hire someone at the average county wage. The incentive in HCS/HB 45 rises to $1,200 if the business pays at least have the employee’s health care costs.

Jones says that might not motivate a business to hire, but could influence those weighing expansion.

“We all know with the economy being what it is, there’s just a lot of small business folks right now who are just sitting and hunkering down and they’re still not hiring, certainly (not) the way they were two or three years ago,” Jones says.

Jones says this bill could provide relief now until the state can afford a comprehensive tax relief package.

“That would affect all small businesses, whether they pay as individuals or whether they’re incorporated,” Jones says. “I know there are a couple of proposals that will be coming through the legislature that we’re definitely going to be looking at. But whether we can afford them or not, right now, is another question.”

Jones says he resents the state representatives who dismissed the package as purely political and downplayed its significance to business. He says they don’t understand the difficulties businesses face right now.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:60 MP3]