Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, issued the following statement after meeting today with Committee Chair Mary Landrieu (D-La.); Administrator Karen Mills of the Small Business Administration (SBA); and Gene Sperling, Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury to discuss small business job creation legislation:

“In forging a bipartisan compromise to the urgent imperative of job creation, we must come together in a timely fashion to agree upon the elements of a long-overdue small business jobs bill. I proposed my own solution to help alleviate the detrimental economic conditions facing small businesses eight weeks ago, when I filed the ‘Small Business Job Creation Act’ as an amendment to the Tax Extenders legislation.  I did not offer my amendment on the Floor at the behest of Majority Leader Reid, who promised that we would shortly thereafter consider a broader small business jobs bill.  Yet, eight weeks later, such legislation has not materialized. 

“My proposal contains a series of critical measures that have widespread, bipartisan backing from the Congress, the Administration, and small business stakeholders.  It would bring certitude to our nation’s tax policy for small business owners looking to hire workers and make investments in their companies.  It would help end the endemic credit crisis by boosting SBA loan limits to get capital into the hands of entrepreneurs.  Because a mere one percent of U.S. small businesses currently export their goods and services, my legislation would create larger SBA export loan limits, expand export technical assistance, and enhance assistance for trade promotion to bolster that number.  And my proposal offers small businesses significant regulatory reforms and requires a ‘Job Impact Statement’ for any piece of major legislation the Congress considers – so that we can better evaluate the impact our actions are having on Main Street.

“As President John F. Kennedy once told the National Industrial Conference Board, ‘I think we can do better.  Working together, business and government must do better – putting people back to work, using plants to capacity, and spurring savings and investments with at least a large part of our economic gains – beginning not when our economy is back at the top, but beginning now.’  The fact of the matter is, today, we can and must do better.  We must turn our attention to a small business job creation bill – as the Majority Leader promised – to get our economy working again.  And it must happen without delay.”