Several years after our country was thrust into the worst economic crisis in generation, the outlook in Washington State and many areas throughout the United States is gradually improving. Congress responded to the crisis with multiple initiatives to prevent a much deeper economic disaster, but we are not out of the woods yet. There is still much work to do to create good jobs, lower the employment rate, and create the conditions that encourage Washington State businesses to grow.
Government cannot create the spark of ingenuity for a new product nor the drive to turn a good idea into a flourishing business venture. However, it is critical that government create an environment that encourages new enterprises to be launched and the conditions for businesses of all sizes to succeed.
It is essential that government work to support the education of a world-class workforce for the challenges of today and opportunities of tomorrow, reward innovation, get our deficit under control, and improve our aging infrastructure to meet the needs of the modern economy. We must set the stage for successful entrepreneurship and growth today and in the future.
Congress also has a responsibility to address our fiscal issues in a balanced and effective way that strengthens the fundamentals of our economy. We need to take steps to address our long-term budget challenges while making the smart investments in the future that workers and industry need.
There is a tremendous amount of work to be done to implement sound, forward-thinking policies focused on job creation, growing the economy, supporting businesses, and strengthening the middle class. Policy and business leaders must work together to advance the competitiveness of U.S. products, spur innovation, and provide global leadership now and into the future.
Successful small businesses are the backbone of a healthy economy. In 2016, small businesses made up 98% of Washington State’s employers, accounting for nearly 52% of private-sector jobs in the state. We look to the small business community for innovative technologies and practices, job creation for the new economy, and the advancement of American competitiveness in the 21st century. In tough economic times, it is more important than ever that we provide the assistance that our small businesses need. An effective relationship and dialogue with the federal government is critical to the success and growth of small business. I strongly believe in economic policies that spur small business growth, including sound tax policies and programs that make it easier to wade through the various regulations and paperwork often required to do business with the federal government.
I have met with local businesses throughout the 9th Congressional District in order to stay informed about the needs and concerns of small business. I have hosted regular Small Business Forums, which have focused on small business access to capital, credit and loan guarantee programs, and capacity building in areas such as social media. My office also coordinates Grants and Procurement workshops, through which we have helped to educate hundreds of local business leaders about all of the steps necessary to become competitive for federal contracts, and these events have helped to level the playing field between small business and large corporations.
Throughout my career in Congress, I have supported legislation that encourages small business growth. In March 2012, I supported the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed into law by Former President Obama. The bill included important provisions designed to help small, innovative startup companies get access to the capital they need to succeed. I am also supportive of my colleague Rep. Suzan DelBene’s Women’s Small Business Ownership Act of 2017 which directs the Office of Women's Business Ownership within the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide annual training geared towards helping women-owned businesses to start, operate, and grow, their small business.
Our region is home to one of the leading innovation based economies in the country and it is critical that small, innovative startup companies have needed flexibility to grow.
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