WASHINGTON – The Senate late yesterday passed a resolution introduced by Senators Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, respectively, highlighting the critical role small businesses play in our nation’s economy during the annual celebration of National Small Business Week. The President signed a proclamation declaring the week of May 15, 2011 as National Small Business Week, honoring our country’s 27.2 million small businesses and the owners and employees of these firms.

“During National Small Business Week, we honor the nation’s small businesses and entrepreneurs who take risks and start their own businesses,” Senator Landrieu said. “It has been a challenging, exciting and, in some ways, promising two years for small businesses, but our work in Congress cannot stop. America’s entrepreneurs deserve the recognition of our nation and need the support of Congress to boost job creation and economic growth. As we reflect on the contribution small businesses have made to our economy, I encourage all Americans to celebrate entrepreneurs across America and take a moment to visit your town’s small businesses.”

“National Small Business Week is a time to recognize the extraordinary contributions that small businesses make to the health and vitality of our economy,” Senator Snowe said. “With nearly 30 million small businesses nationwide – and 150,000 in Maine alone – these firms are the engines of our economy and our lifeline to emerge from this economic downturn. I hope my colleagues in Congress will join me in celebrating small businesses every week of the year, by reflecting on the countless contributions these firms make to our nation and focusing on initiatives that enhance, not inhibit, their ability to prosper, innovate and create well paying jobs for Americans.”

Every year since 1963, the President has recognized entrepreneurs by proclaiming National Small Business Week. This resolution expresses the Senate’s appreciation of the efforts and achievements on the part of small business owners and employees, whose hard work and commitment to excellence have made these firms a key part of the economic vitality of the United States. According to the Small Business Administration, small firms constitute 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers, and account for roughly half of the nation’s private sector jobs.

To see the complete resolution, please click here.