As a former small businessman, I feel a special affinity with those small business owners and employees who are working long hours trying to provide a valuable service to their community and make a living for their own families. While it is a tough line of work, the rewards can be great including a pivotal role in helping our national economy grow and prosper.
Now, as your representative in Congress, I have the privilege of serving as Vice Chairman of the Small Business Committee. I believe it is important to continue to talk about the significance of small businesses and I appreciate hearing from small business folks who come to Washington to share their concerns with me. I also enjoy traveling around the 3rd District and visiting small businesses and talking with their employees about the challenges they face each and every day.
The importance of small business is self-evident. These businesses are the engines of job creation and employ about half of all private sector employees. Generally 60 to 80 percent of all new jobs come from small businesses. From 1999-2000, small businesses accounted for 75 percent of all new jobs created and have generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years. In this economic climate, it is crucial that we support these businesses, which create jobs and serve as the backbone of our economy, rather than place obstacles before them.
With that in mind, June 17-21 marks National Small Business Week. Created in 1963, the United States Small Business Administration has used National Small Business Week as a way to recognize the achievements and contributions of our nation’s small business owners and employees. As part of that recognition, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing called “Made in America: Highlighting U.S. Manufacturing” which highlighted the successes of these critical job creators and the folks that make them a success.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that almost 11 million Americans, nearly nine percent of the total workforce, are employed directly in manufacturing. In addition to being a significant part of our country’s economy, manufacturing provides a multiplier effect. For every $1 of manufacturing output in a community, there’s another $1.40 of wealth created. That is significant.
While it is important that we have a week to recognize small businesses, we need to be focused on job creation and economic growth every day of the year. My goal on the Small Business Committee is to ensure that our commitment to these job creators and entrepreneurs and the people who work at America’s small businesses remains constant and forward-looking. I will continue to strive to protect the interest of small business owners and employers because, without them, our citizens will not prosper.
As always, for those of you with Internet access, I encourage you to visit my official website http://luetkemeyer.house.gov. For those without access to the Internet, I encourage you to call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) Washington, Mo. (636-239-2276), or Wentzville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns.
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