WASHINGTON – Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La. made the following comments regarding President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address and his remarks on job creation and building an internationally competitive America.
“Tonight, after making a commitment to boost America’s global competitiveness, President Obama highlighted several projects underway to boost our economy,” said Senator Landrieu. “With the expansion of Internet access, increasing international trade and American exports, and supporting the innovators of tomorrow, we are taking the right steps to get this economy back on track. My hope is that the President will continue to work with Congress on these important initiatives and ways to continue this progress with other nations.
“The Recovery Act and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 jump-started lending to small businesses, providing $42 billion in capital to more than 90,000 small businesses since the spring of 2009, provided more than $12 billion in tax benefits to small businesses, and increased the number of small businesses receiving federal contracts. Job creation will remain our top priority as we begin a new Congress. With the successful passage of small business legislation last year, coupled with the President’s commitment to expand our economic relationships, we hope to see light at the end of the tunnel as we fight to put millions of Americans back to work.”
Senator Landrieu plans to undertake many initiatives in the 112th Congress, including:
• Broadband for Rural Areas and Small Businesses
This legislation would enhance the SBA’s ability to effectively assist small businesses on broadband issues. In particular, the bill creates a Broadband and Emerging Technology Coordinator within the SBA to coordinate programs that assist small businesses in adopting, making innovations in, and using broadband and other emerging technologies. Next, it would improve the ability of SBA resource partners to promote small business broadband adoption. Lastly, the bill clarifies SBA’s ability to make loans for purchasing equipment for broadband or other emerging information technologies.
• SBA Disaster Programs Reform
Sen. Landrieu remains committed to improving SBA’s ability to respond to disasters. Building off SBA Disaster Program improvements she secured in 2008, the bill will make key reforms to SBA’s business and home disaster loan programs. It will also ensure better coordination between SBA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster programs after future disasters.