As a small business owner with an MBA from the Wharton School of Finance and a member of the House Financial Services Committee, business has played an integral role in my personal life and professional career. As such, I understand the vital role small businesses play in our economy, and I am committed to ensuring that they continue to thrive. According to the Small Business Administration, over the last decade, small business created 60 to 80% of all new jobs annually and nearly half of all workers in the private sector are employed by small businesses. Moreover, in FY 2002 small businesses produced nearly 30% of the United States’ exports. These statistics indicate how important small businesses are to the growth and continued strength of the U.S. economy.
In the metro Atlanta area, economic development spurred by the vitality of small businesses helped the city gain greater national significance. The large growth in minority owned businesses significantly contributed to this outstanding growth. According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, in the last 5 years, minority owned businesses increased by 72%. I pledge to promote this important growth in the Atlanta area. I will do my part by continuing to fight for small business in Congress.
I have demonstrated my support of small business growth in several critical areas:
Improving access to capital for small business owners
I support increasing access to capital for small business owners. Out of concern with reports of discrimination against minority and women business owners in the loan application process, I called on the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate factors that prohibit or limit minority business owners’ access to capital.
Funding the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) loan program
I urged Appropriations Committee members to dedicate $79,132,000 million for the 7(a) loan program which represents 30 percent of overall small business financing instead of shifting costs onto businesses and community lenders.
Providing affordable health care coverage to small businesses
I cosponsored H.R.2073 to grant tax subsidies to employers who offer affordable health care for employees through health pooling arrangements.
Increasing the viability and numbers of minority and women owned businesses
I support any effort to study and combat the added difficulties that minority and women business owners face. I requested a second GAO investigation of the effectiveness of banking agencies’ efforts to promote minority-owned financial institutions.
Raising the number of government contracts secured by minority-owned businesses
I support minority-owned business access to government contracts; to encourage this I cosponsored H.R. 4474 to establish a program known as Pre-8(a) that would assist minority-owned businesses in receiving and completing federal procurement contracts.
Creating education opportunities for students interested in business
I backed H.R. 5878, the Minority Entrepreneurship and Innovation Pilot Program of 2006 to create and fund a program at institutions that have historically served minorities to foster entrepreneurship and business development in minority communities.
Promoting business growth by reducing estate taxes and tort reform
I have stood up for reducing estate taxes so that the inheritors of a small business do not have to face selling it off to afford their taxes. I also support tort reform and eliminating the debilitative environment that abusive lawsuits create for business.
Alleviating the disparate burden placed on small business by compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, especially Section 404 of this legislation which requires companies to report the effectiveness of their internal control over financial reporting
The SEC Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies found that the undue burden placed on smaller companies by Section 404 is a problem that requires attention and resolution. I spoke out in support of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Public Company Accounting Board (PCAOB) plans to improve the implementation of section 404 of Sarbanes-Oxley.
The United States must develop creative solutions to the current challenges of a rising budget and trade deficit, the decline of major U.S. industries, particularly the automotive industry, and as the world’s chief consumer of oil, the impact of its rising cost. Small businesses can play an important role in addressing these concerns. Because of their size they are crucial incubators for ideas and products. They produce between 13 and 14 times more patents than large firms and employ over 40% of the highly specialized workers in computer, science, and engineering fields.
I recognize that supporting and promoting the growth of small businesses is good governance. In the 109th Congress I received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Spirit of Enterprise” award for promoting the issues that matter to business. Please rest assured that I will continue to whole-heartedly champion and enable small business growth. I welcome the opportunity to continue to represent your thoughts and opinions in Washington. Thank you for your continued support and faith in my ability to serve on behalf of the 13th District.