Recent Press Releases

  • Nov 29 2010

    Landrieu Comments on Votes to Repeal Form 1099 Reporting Requirements

    WASHINGTON – United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate votes to repeal the expanded Form 1099 reporting requirements set to take effect in 2012. Senators Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., introduced separate amendments to S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
  • Nov 24 2010

    Senator Snowe Supports “Small Business Saturday” Celebration

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) today encouraged Americans to join her in celebrating “Small Business Saturday” on November 27, an initiative is designed to boost sales at small, local, independently owned businesses across America.

    “I often tour Main Streets in cities and towns across Maine to speak directly with local business owners, and they have told me repeatedly that they rely on increased sales to grow their businesses and create new jobs,” said Senator Snowe.  “Small Business Saturday provides an ideal opportunity to support our local retailers, who are the economic backbone of our communities.  While we work at the federal level to create a climate of economic certainty in which our local businesses can thrive and prosper, our day-to-day patronage of their goods and services is vital to their short and long term sustainability.”

    Respondents to the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) Small Business Economic Trends survey have listed “poor sales” as the “single most important problem” for their businesses each month since the September 2008 report.  As such, projects like “Small Business Saturday” are critical to raising the profile of American small businesses during one of the nation’s most prolific shopping periods, potentially resulting in an uptick in sales for these firms.

Recent Articles

  • Nov 18 2010

    Small Businesses Want Broadband Choice, Competition

    According to an SBA report, 90 percent of small businesses use broadband, but a third of those surveyed want better service.

    By Courtney Rubin |  Nov 18, 2010

    Small businesses want choice and competition in the broadband service market, but they're not getting either one, says a new government report.

    The study from the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy – called "The Impact of Broadband Speed and Price on Small Business" – noted that broadband "is central to U.S. small businesses in ways that it is not to individuals."

    The small business adoption rate of broadband was at 90 percent when the study was conducted in April 2010, compared to 65 percent of adults who use home broadband connections. Strike off small businesses that don't have any computers, and the level of broadband adoption leaps to 95 percent.

    But there are big differences between metro and rural areas in terms of broadband speed, availability and price. Additionally, a third of small businesses surveyed said they wanted service the current network didn't have the capacity to provide. Businesses in cities pay more for Internet service, partly because they're more likely to use the more expensive leased-line services as opposed to dial-up service, which is the cheapest. 

    City businesses pay an average of $115 per month for Internet service while rural businesses average $93 per month – about a 24 percent difference. Rural firms firms pay more to get the same bandwith access available in metro areas, though. (DSL is the dominant small business Internet connection type except for in the Northeast, where half of those surveyed have cable modem connections.)

    The report also revealed that small business Internet customers pay two to three times more than what residential Internet customers pay for equivalent speeds. In one case study, done in Waseca, Minnesota, a residential service offers 20 megabits per second download/2 Mbps upload for $74.95 per month. But the same company's "ultra" service for businesses offers 20 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload for $249.95 – more than triple the residential price.

    Senators Olympia Snowe, a Maine Republican, and John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, requested the report in 2008. Snowe sits on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and Kerry was the panel’s chairman at the time he requested the report.

    "I have heard from numerous small business owners from across Maine who depend on a fast and reliable broadband connection as a matter of basic business survival, but who regrettably are struggling for increased access and speed because rural areas still lack adequate broadband service," Snowe said. "Maine is a prime example of a state where increased broadband utilization can have a dramatic impact on businesses’ ability to grow and expand by selling goods to new markets, both domestic and foreign."

    The report recommends that the Federal Communications Commission “stay the course” on its National Broadband Plan. The government also should "protect small business consumers" who "face a number of distinct disadvantages that limit their choices and use of broadband." One example: They are often required to sign one-, three-, or even five-year service contracts with typically steep penalties for early termination. Another recommendation: That the government consider creating federal broadband incentive programs for small businesses.

    Said Winslow Sargeant, the SBA's chief counsel for advocacy: "All small businesses must have access to fast and affordable broadband if they’re going to succeed in the global economy." 

  • Mar 09 2010

    LANDRIEU: Creating Jobs on Main Street

    Common-sense ideas can turn pink slips into paychecks.

    WASHINGTON – The following op-ed by United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair, Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., was published in the Washington Times. Newspapers and online news sites are invited to reprint it: