Saturday, April 03, 2010

Sen. Landrieu: Economy Improving, But More Help Is Needed for America's Small Businesses

Late yesterday, just hours after the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that approximately 162,000 Americans were put back to work in the month of March, United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu [D-La., pictured], chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, issued the following statement:

"Last month, approximately 162,000 Americans were put back to work -- a sign that the measures Congress is taking to improve the economic climate are working," said Landrieu. "While I am encouraged by the number of jobs that were created, there is still much work to be done to support the nation's small businesses and those Americans still out of work.

"To build on the successful recovery loan initiatives -- higher guarantees and fee waivers on borrowers of Small Business Administration loans -- I urge my colleagues in the Senate to work to adopt the provisions coming out of the Small Business Committee. With small business accounting for 65 percent of all new jobs, these proposals are aimed at creating jobs and spurring small-business growth, and have passed this Committee with bipartisan support."

Sen. Landrieu has proposed five measures to be included in the next jobs bill to be debated on the Senate floor. The measures include:

* Small Business Job Creation and Access to Capital Act of 2009 [S. 2869]: Raises the cap on small-business loans to increase lending by $5 billion the first year, and refinances commercial real estate debt into long-term, fixed-rate loans -- provisions that are expected to be budget neutral and could create/save 200,000 jobs;

* Small Business Export Enhancement and International Trade Act of 2009 [S.2862]: Boosts small businesses’ exporting potential by improving access to loans, counseling programs and coordination of existing federal export assistance resources, while injecting more than $1 billion in capital for small businesses and saving/creating as many as 50,000 jobs;

* Small Business Contracting Revitalization Act of 2010 [S. 2989]: Removes the red tape and closes loopholes that too often put government work into the hands of multinational corporations instead of Main Street businesses. Increasing contracts to small businesses by just 1 percent can create more than 100,000 jobs;

* Small Business Community Partner Relief Act of 2010 [S. 3165]: Strengthens SBA women’s business and microloan programs to ensure they have the funds and manpower needed to be successful resource partners and help small-business owners get the assistance they need; and

* SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2009 [S. 1233]: Encourages small businesses to develop new technologies in fields from health care and defense, to clean energy. These competitive grants are the largest source of federal R&D funding for small, high-tech firms. Twenty-percent of SBIR participants say they started their company in part because of a prospective SBIR award, creating thousands of jobs.

This week, Sen. Landrieu sent a letter to her Senate colleagues requesting their support for this legislation. To view a copy of the letter, please go to:

Detailed information on each proposal can be found here:

SOURCES:, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
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