WASHINGTON – Senate Small Business Committee Chair Mary Landrieu and Senators Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, and Jeff Merkley joined Gene Sperling of the U.S. Treasury Department, John Arensmeyer of Small Business Majority, Frank Knapp of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and small business owners from around the country at a press conference this morning to discuss efforts to help small businesses create jobs. Senate Democrats are working to pass bipartisan legislation to provide small businesses with the tax cuts and lines of credit they need to create jobs and put Americans back to work.

“There is nothing more important to our economic recovery than strengthening America’s small businesses,” said Chairman Landrieu. “The Small Business Jobs package improves access to capital and provides targeted tax breaks to small firms allowing them to hire workers and expand their companies. It is time to move this package forward and get support into the hands of America’s innovators and entrepreneurs.”

“This bill is crucial because small businesses are the big job creators and must have access to credit so they can expand and hire,” said Senator Boxer.

“Finally we are on the verge of passing a common-sense solution to a problem that has been holding back our economic recovery” said Senator Cantwell. “Access to capital is the key that will unlock the innovative and entrepreneurial power of America’s small businesses.”

"Small businesses are the engines of our economy, and we need to get lending moving to power them up and create jobs” said Senator Merkley. “By providing essential tax cuts and restoring access to capital, we can help small business owners put people back to work and lead us out of this recession. Support for this bill has been growing steadily for weeks and I look forward to getting it passed this week with broad, bipartisan support."

"We need small businesses to help lead us to a strong recovery and expand private sector job creation. But they have faced a perfect storm of barriers due to the severity of the financial crisis” said Gene Sperling, Counselor to the Secretary of Treasury. “The accelerated tax relief for small businesses and the multiple provisions to unlock and expand credit for small businesses in this legislation is needed immediately and without further delay. We thank Majority Leader Reid, Chairman Baucus, Chairwoman Landrieu and so many others for their leadership in moving this small business jobs legislation forward."

“This bill will do more to support small businesses than any bill has in years, and gives the Senate an opportunity to stand up for entrepreneurs struggling in this economy,” said John Arensmeyer, Small Business Majority. “The legislation’s provisions, including expanded SBA loan programs, enhanced community bank lending and $12 billion in tax cuts, among others, would provide meaningful relief for small businesses and help them resume their role as the country's job generators."

“We’re here to show the strong, unequivocal support this bill has from the small business community,” said Frank Knapp, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. “Our small business organizations have worked very hard on this issue and say with a clear voice—this bill must pass for the good of our nation. We’re ready to lead the country out of this poor economy and—with the financial resources and other provisions in this bill—we will do just that.”