After meeting with the business owners at the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, Obama said the U.S. economic recovery depends on small businesses, and that means the federal government needs to help them.
"Government can't guarantee success, but it can knock down barriers that keep entrepreneurs from opening or expanding," Obama said. "For example, the lack of affordable credit -- that's something the government can do something about.
"Government can't replace the millions of jobs that we lost in the recession, but it can create the conditions for small businesses to hire more people through steps like tax breaks."
The Democratic president urged the passage of legislation pending in Congress that will "cut taxes and make more loans available."
"If this bill becomes law, small businesses and start-ups will see the positive benefits right away," he said. "It eliminates capital gains taxes for key investments in small firms. It will increase the deductions that small businesses can take for new equipment and other expenses.
"This bill will also make more credit available. Everywhere I go, I hear from small business owners who simply cannot get the credit they need to hire and expand."
Obama said the bill should be one Republicans can support and urged Congress to send it to him before going on vacation.
"When I had a conversation with [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell [of Kentucky] and [House Minority Leader] John Boehner [of Ohio] yesterday, I told them that the provisions of this bill are things that the Republican Party has said it's supported for years: helping small businesses, cutting taxes, making credit available," Obama said.
"This is as American as apple pie."