WASHINGTON -- Tomorrow Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) will introduce a resolution to honor and celebrate America’s small businesses during the 45th annual National Small Business Week. There are 27 million small businesses in the United States that account for about half of the American economy and employ about half of the country’s workforce. Over the last 15 years, small businesses were responsible for creating 93 percent of new jobs.
“Despite the many challenges facing small business owners today, from rising energy costs to steep health care premiums and tight credit markets, small business owners continue to be the heart and soul of our economy,” said Senator Kerry, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “Whether they are operating a bakery or running a high-tech company, America’s small business owners represent the best in American ingenuity and can-do spirit. We’ll continue to fight for them here in Washington to make sure that entrepreneurs have access to the tools and resources they need to grow their business and weather these tough economic times.”
“Creating two thirds of net new jobs annually and representing virtually every employer firm nationwide, small businesses are the true lifeblood of America’s economy,” said Senator Snowe, Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business and Entreprenuership. “It is more than appropriate that we take a week to celebrate the enterprises that are so instrumental in developing the products and services of the future. In doing so, we should also place a particular emphasis on looking for ways to help small firms weather the current economic downturn by increasing their ability to access capital and business assistance counseling, reducing their exposure to bureaucratic red tape, cutting their tax burden, and providing more affordable and accessible health insurance options.”
The text of resolution is below.
Honoring the entrepreneurial spirit of small business concerns in the United States during National Small Business Week, beginning April 21, 2008.
Whereas the 26,800,000 small business concerns in the United States are the driving force behind the Nation's economy, creating more than 2/3 of all net new jobs and generating more than 50 percent of the Nation's nonfarm gross domestic product;
Whereas small business concerns represent 99.7 percent of all businesses and employ half of the Nation’s workforce;
Whereas small business concerns represent 97 percent of all exporters and produce 28.6 percent of exported goods;
Whereas small business concerns are the Nation's innovators, advancing technology and productivity;
Whereas the resilience, vitality and growth of small businesses are critical to the Nation’s competitiveness during a time of economic downturn;
Whereas Congress established the Small Business Administration in 1953, to aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small business concerns in order to preserve free competitive enterprise, to ensure that a fair proportion of the total purchases and contracts or subcontracts for property and services for the Federal Government be placed with small business concerns, to ensure that a fair proportion of the total sales of Government property be made to such small business concerns, and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of the Nation;
Whereas for over 50 years, the Small Business Administration has provided aid and assistance to millions of entrepreneurs who have succeeded in achieving the American dream of owning a small business concern, and thus has played a key role in fostering economic growth; and
Whereas the President has designated the week beginning April 21, 2008 as `National Small Business Week': Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate --
- honors the entrepreneurial spirit of small business owners in the United States during National Small Business Week;
- honors the efforts and achievements of the small business owners and their employees, whose hard work, commitment to excellence, and willingness to take a risk, have made them a crucial part of the Nation's economy,
- recognizes that small businesses are essential to restoring the Nation’s economic health;
- recognizes the vital role of the Small Business Administration’s programs and the work of its employees and its resource partners in providing assistance to entrepreneurs and small business owners;
- strongly urges the President to take steps to ensure that--
- (A) a reasonable Women’s Procurement program law is soon implemented to give women business owners a fair opportunity to compete for federal contracts;
- (B) small businesses have access to quality affordable health insurance;
- (C) the needs of veterans and reservists who own their own businesses, who work for small businesses, or want to start their own businesses, are met during deployment and upon their return;
- (D) proper measures are enacted to provide a stimulus for business lending during this economic downturn
- (E) small businesses’ tax burdens are reduced, and that there is a reduction in bureaucratic red tape;
- (F) small businesses have the tools to become more energy efficient to survive rising costs of energy, increase profits, and reduce our country’s reliance on foreign oil;
- (G) all Federal agencies adhere to the contracting goals for small business concerns, including the goals for small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, small business concerns owned and controlled by women, small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, and HUBZone small business concerns;
- (H) venture capital and small business loans, including microloans and guaranteed loans that are delivered through private lenders, for start-up firms and growing small business concerns are available to all qualified small business concerns;
- (I) the management assistance programs delivered by resource partners on behalf of the Small Business Administration, such as small business development centers, women's business centers, and the Service Corps of Retired Executives, are provided with the Federal resources necessary to do their jobs;
- urges President to allow the Administrator of the Small Business Administration to have an active role as a member of the President's Cabinet.