WASHINGTON – In recognition of National Small Business Week, U.S. Senator John Boozman recognized the importance small businesses play in our economy and celebrated the contributions of Arkansans to this economic cornerstone.
Boozman highlighted the efforts of Kelly Massey of Henderson State University who is the 2012 Small Business Administration Counselor of the Year – Small Business Development Center Award winner. He also recognized Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc., the Arkansas State Small Business Person of the Year.
The following are the remarks delivered by Boozman in recognition of the 49th Annual National Small Business Week.
Mr. President, this week marks the 49th annual National Small Business Week, a time to celebrate the innovations, ideas and hard work of our entrepreneurs. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy accounting for 65 percent of new jobs over the last 17 years. The vital economic component also employs about half of all private sector employees.
As a former small business owner I recognize the difficulty these owners have to plan for future growth and investment. It is our job to make sure we provide an environment that helps these engines of economic growth. We need to make sure our small businesses have the resources they need to continue providing good, well-paying jobs for hardworking Americans. I was pleased to support the “American Jobs Act” in March. This legislation seeks to increase capital formation, spur the growth of startups and small businesses, and enable more small-scale businesses to enter public markets.
Arkansans are familiar with what it takes to build a business from the ground up. As home to Fortune 500 companies – including the world’s largest retailer Wal-Mart and the world’s largest processor of chicken Tyson’s – that both started as a small business, residents of the natural state understand the risks and rewards associated with small businesses.
This week the U.S. Small Business Administration recognized the work of Americans who excel in their work to help small businesses. I am proud to say that Kelly Massey of the Henderson State University Small Business and Technology Development Center in Arkadelphia, Arkansas was recognized as the SBA Counselor of the Year – Small Business Development Center winner. As director of the state's premier business assistance program, Massey dedicates himself to helping the area's small businesses achieve success and promoting the mission and goals of the SBDC program to help spur economic development.
We are also proud of Arkansas Power Electronics International, Inc. for its recognition as the 2012 Arkansas State Small Business Person of the Year. The company continues to strive for success as it develops the next generation of high energy-efficiency power electronics systems. APEI is a great small business model, growing from one person to more than 35 in 15 years with plans for expansion in the coming years.
These Arkansas business leaders will help move America into the future and construct the groundwork for economic recovery. We need to continue pursuing policies that support the entrepreneurial spirit of these economic building blocks.