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Small-business people in New England say tax reform must not dump incentives

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Ten or 20 years ago, few listened to the voice of small business. Not so, today. Because of the recent recognition of the large part that small business plays in the growth of the economy, what is good for small business is considered important. Between 1980 and 1982, small businesses made a net contribution of more than 2 million jobs to the work force, according to ``The State of Small Business: a Report of the President,'' released in March of 1984.

``It has become more of a recognized sector with its own concerns,'' says Carolyn VanSant of the Small Business Association of New England (SBANE).

One of the biggest concerns of small businesses -- at least in New England, a hot growth region for small business in recent years -- is tax reform and what it might do to the precarious prosperity of many companies.

A recent survey cosponsored by SBANE and Ernst & Whinney, the accounting firm, polled 1,800 SBANE and 400 company members of the Massachusetts High Technology Council to find out the attitude of small business toward the major tax reform package proposals.

The three main tax reform proposals before Congress -- the Treasury plan (now under revision) and the Bradley-Gephardt (FAIR) and Kemp-Kasten (FAST) proposals -- would dump most of those tax incentives.

New England small business opposes this.

The burgeoning of small business in recent years has been fueled in part by tax incentives, notes James G. Maguire, head of the Boston office of Ernst & Whinney.

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