sba-people.jpgWe are in the midst of National Small Business Week. More than 100 small-business owners from across the country are now convening at the Small Business Administration's National Small Business Week conference in Washington, D.C.
 
The three-day event is staged at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where entrepreneurs are being honored for their accomplishments as the nation's leading small businesses.  

Apparently, this week also means legislators on Capitol Hill are turning their attention toward the importance of entrepreneurship in rebuilding our sagging economy.

The Washington, D.C., publication Roll Call ran an op-ed piece yesterday by U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine. The Senators focused on the importance of small businesses to the economy, the work the Senate has done on behalf of the nation's small businesses and what work is left to be done.

Landrieu and Snowe report that small businesses across the country are in trouble--many Americans can no longer afford to shop in Main Street boutiques or eat at local restaurants. Small businesses have suffered 80 percent of all job losses in this country since November.

But, National Small Business Week, the senators say, should be a time when our nation shifts its focus to the countless contributions small businesses make to create jobs and strengthen the economy. Small firms pump almost a trillion dollars into the economy each year, create two-thirds of our nation's new jobs annually and account for more than half of America's work force.

"Our economy depends on the health of our 27 million small businesses. They are the family businesses throughout the country whose thread still weaves the American Dream. They are the technology startups that produce cutting-edge clean energy sources, lifesaving medical advances and safer equipment for our troops. And they are the construction companies that build our schools and our homes, and the businesses that fix our roads and our bridges," the senators write.

Events during Small Business Week can be viewed virtually through SBA's live webcasting, accessible at www.NationalSmallBusinessWeek.com.

Click here to read the entire op-ed piece "The State of Small Businesses During National Small Business Week" by Sens. Mary Landrieu and Olympia Snowe.