WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La, Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, celebrated the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week by sponsoring a resolution highlighting the critical role America’s 28 million small businesses play in our nation’s economy.  The resolution, which was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 56 senators, passed the Senate unanimously.

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.

“There is nothing small about small business in America,” Sen. Landrieu said.  “According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses are responsible for employing roughly half of all working Americans.  These entrepreneurs pump almost $1 trillion dollars into the economy and have generated 60 to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the last decade.  We need to celebrate small business owners and their employees because they take risks and improve our economy by making these businesses successful.  That is why the Senate passed this resolution commemorating the 50th Annual Small Business Week.”

Sen. Landrieu was joined in sponsoring this resolution by Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Max Baucus (D-MT), Mark Begich (D-AK),Michael Bennet (D-CO),John Boozman (R-AR),Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Barrasso ( R-WY) , Thomas Carper (D-DE), Robert P. Casey (D-PA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), William M. Cowan (D-MA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ben Cardin  (D-MD), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) , Deb Fischer (R-NE ), Al Franken (D-MN), Tom Harkin  (D-IA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Kay Hagan (D-NC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA) ,  Ron Johnson  (R-WI) , Angus  King, Jr.  (I-ME), Amy  Klobuchar (D-MN), Carl Levin, (D-MI), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Robert Menendez (D-NJ),  Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Mark L. Pryor, (D-AR), Rob Portman (R-OH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV),  Marco Rubio (R-FL), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Charles Schumer (D-NY),  Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jon Tester (D-MT), John  Thune (R-SD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Udall (D-CO), David Vitter (R-LA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Earlier this week Sen. Landrieu led the committee in completing a markup of four key bills to help small businesses across the country.  The committee approved three access to capital bills that will help small businesses grow and continue to create jobs, as well as a disaster relief bill that will make it easier for small businesses to get back on their feet after a disaster strikes.

The following bills passed the committee with bipartisan support:

 

  • S. 289, the Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED) Act allows small business owners to use SBA 504 loans to refinance certain existing commercial mortgages;

 

  • S. 511, the Expanding Access to Capital for Entrepreneurial Leaders (EXCEL) Act helps get hard-to-access private equity capital to more growth-oriented small firms;

 

  • S. 537, the Communicating Lender Economic Activity Records from the Small Business Administration (CLEAR SBA) Act helps small business borrowers identify the most active and most reasonable SBA lenders in their area, and;

 

  • S. 415, the Small Business Disaster Reform Act improves the SBA’s disaster loan program to address years of complaints that the federal government takes a home for collateral when an entrepreneur needs a business disaster loan to rebuild their company instead of first looking at business collateral like land or equipment.

Click here for more information on this week’s markup.

In addition to passing the small business resolution and moving four bills out of committee, Sen. Landrieu held a roundtable on Thursday entitled “Sequestration: Small Business Contractors Weathering the Storm in a Climate of Fiscal Uncertainty.”

The purpose of the roundtable was to focus on the impact of the federal budget sequestration on small business and what federal agencies are doing to achieve their small business contracting goals.  The federal government awards more than $400 billion in contracts each year, and the Committee has been fighting to make sure the government does at least 23 percent with small businesses.  

Click here for more information on Thursday’s roundtable.

 

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