by Congressman Tom Cole
After three full weeks of legislative business in Washington, it’s refreshing to be back in Oklahoma just in time for Small Business Week. Throughout my service to the Fourth District, I’ve had the great privilege of meeting numerous individuals who either own or work for a small business. During every visit and after every story I hear, I am reminded that American prosperity rides on the success of Main Street.
Whether as an owner, employee or consumer, Americans depend greatly on the success of small businesses. Owners work hard to make a profit in order to create more jobs. Families rely on income earned at a small business. All the while, customers get to shop the marketplace of products and services of seemingly unending possibilities.
However, as many Oklahomans know far too well, those working on Main Street are often met with excessive regulatory and tax barriers that choke innovation and discourage job creation. Too often, these regulations create a barrier to entrepreneurs from entering the marketplace in the first place. That not only shatters the American Dream for a would-be entrepreneur and prevents the introduction of products and services, but it discourages the creation of jobs that would have lifted other hardworking Americans as well.
According to the United States Small Business Administration, an estimated seven out of 10 new jobs in the economy are created by small businesses. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Commerce recorded 332,998 small businesses in Oklahoma that employed 673,373 people. Those statistics alone should motivate the government to step out of the way and help small businesses thrive.
This year, the U.S. House of Representatives has already voted on legislation that would help Main Street. In the days ahead, I remain committed to supporting similar reforms that encourage small businesses to remain and help aspiring owners or entrepreneurs pursue an idea with fewer barriers.
As we celebrate small businesses this week, I invite you to stop by your favorite and thank them for helping keep America great.