Entrepreneurs discuss state of the economy, policies to promote growth

For Immediate Release

News from the Committee on Small Business

Nydia M. Velázquez, Chairwoman

January 14, 2009 (202) 226-3636

Committee Explores Role of Small Business in Economic Recovery

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As talks on economic recovery legislation continue, a key Congressional Committee today heard about the issues that small businesses face in weathering the economic recession and helping to lead the nation toward economic recovery.  As the backbone of the economy, creating 80 percent of all new jobs and driving innovation in virtually every field, small businesses will be vital to the nation’s economic turnaround.

“Small businesses will be instrumental to our nation’s economic recovery,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee.  “It is important that, as Congress moves forward in preparing economic stimulus legislation, we craft policies that help small businesses stay afloat and play their traditional role of a catalyst for new jobs and economic recovery.”

Entrepreneurs from a wide range of economic sectors appeared before the Committee to discuss how various policies could contribute to economic growth and recovery.   Industry experts testified to how infrastructure projects not only benefit companies that obtain contracts for public works, but also discussed how strengthened infrastructure can promote the nation’s long term economic health.  Similarly, panelists said the deployment of broadband and advanced communications services can create immediate job growth, while providing long term productivity benefits.  Construction and energy industry representatives described the steps Congress could take to help them play a role in economic recovery.  Concerning frozen financial markets, the witnesses also urged Congress to better leverage the Small Business Administration to restore lending and help unlock credit markets.  Taken together, the panelists made the case that any recovery plan must address the needs of this nation’s entrepreneurs.

“As we work to fix our ailing economy, we must not forget that our prosperity begins with Main Street entrepreneurs in communities across the country,” said Chairwoman Velázquez. “If we are going to bring our economy back on track, we’re going to need to promote innovation and job creation for our nation’s small businesses.”

The hearing comes as Congress is working to prepare legislation to jump-start the nation’s economy.  With the country reeling from soaring unemployment, and the National Bureau of Economic Research having officially declared the nation in a recession, Congress is expected to move economic stimulus legislation shortly.

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