LV business leader encouraged by events at jobs summit

WASHINGTON -- While not ready to declare Barack Obama a pro-business president, the head of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce gave a positive review to a White House jobs summit on Thursday.

Chamber President Kara Kelley said Obama and top members of his administration stressed they were open to re-evaluating federal rules on business, and particularly export controls that might hamper trade.

The administration also appears to be considering a payroll tax holiday of some kind to ease a burden on small businesses, she said based on conversations from the event.

After Obama welcomed the 130 participants, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and other administration leaders presided over small groups that discussed prospects for regulatory relief, loosening access to capital, and tax breaks as incentives for businesses to bring people back to work.

While no promises were made, Kelley said the event was more substantive than she expected.

"I was very pleased by how collaborative the approach was by the administration," she said.

Kelley said it would be hard to declare Obama to be pro-business as long as he supports the Employee Free Choice Act, a labor-organizing bill that sits atop the business community's must-kill list.

But, she said, "I am very encouraged by the conversations today, what I heard from the president and the White House about collaboration and well-designed regulatory relief. Now, that's always in the eye of the beholder and we have to see what that translates to."