Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, made the following statement today after Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Washington State Department of Commerce announced a $19.7 million award from the U.S. Department of Treasury to launch the Washington Small Business Credit Initiative:

"The Washington Small Business Credit Initiative will catalyze economic growth and facilitate private sector job creation in our area. It is more important now than ever that we support small businesses that have had trouble securing capital needed to launch and sustain innovative ideas. For every dollar we invest, $15 to $18 private dollars will be generated, resulting in more than $300 million in our local economy by 2016.

"This investment will provide current and potential small business owners a significant boost, helping them overcome some of the challenges they face as entrepreneurs seeking new sources of funding in difficult economic times.

"I’m proud that Washington State was chosen as a recipient of this award. As small businesses are the backbone of a healthy local and national economy, this is a critical investment that will benefit us all."