This week, Framingham, Mass.-based Staples Inc. honored Sen. John Kerry [D-Mass.] with their Small Business Champion of the Year award for his 23 years of service in the U.S. Senate on behalf of America's 27 million small-business owners -- including Massachusetts' 650,000 small businesses. Kerry chairs the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
"I'm deeply honored to receive this award from Staples," said Kerry. "I'm working everyday in Washington to do just what we ought to do: level the playing field for small businesses, and foster innovation and entrepreneurship -- from Brighton to Boston, and from Salem to Springfield."
Staples, which began as a start-up in Brighton, Mass., in 1986 with 42 employees, used the Small Business Investment Company [SBIC] program, managed by the Small Business Administration [SBA], to fund its initial expansion. That investment helped spur Staples’ growth to become one of the largest office products suppliers in the world.
"Staples is a tremendous small-business success story," Kerry noted, "demonstrating the power of a public-private partnership that uses a federal small-business financing program to bolster the good idea and hard work of an entrepreneur."
Sen. Kerry was recognized for his leadership efforts to get several small-business initiatives signed into law last year. Among his achievements: Winning legislation to increase funding for core small-business programs; expand energy efficiency resources; secure permanent funding for successful Women's Business Centers; e.g., the Center for Women & Enterprise, in Boston, Worcester and Providence, R.I.; increase funding for small firms to develop military projects; and restore transparency to the Transportation Security Administration's contracting process. Presenting the award on behalf of Staples was Mike Miles, company president and chief operating officer.
This year, Kerry will continue to work on behalf of Massachusetts small businesses and entrepreneurs around the country by fighting to reduce health-care costs, increase access to capital, foster green technologies, and boost energy efficiency. He also aims to expand access to federal contracts – especially for underserved communities, including women, minorities and veterans.
SOURCES: Staples Inc., U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
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