Small-business owners are benefiting from tax breaks passed by Congress that were aimed at softening the blow of legislation that will raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour in three incremental steps by 2009. Even business owners in the District of Columbia and 30 other states, where local law already sets the minimum wage higher than the first federal step to $5.85, can tap into the breaks. The biggest benefit for small-business owners is a greater deduction for new purchases.

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