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The Importance of Small Business

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

by Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson

The expansion and creation of small businesses is  extremely important to America’s  recovery from a period of  intense economic instability.   In Texas there are approximately two million small businesses. They are the largest employers in our state, representing more than forty-five percent of private sector jobs.

Many small businesses, owned by women and minorities, have grown during the last the ten years, according to Texas economic officials who track business statistics. Minority owned businesses in the state  number 725,000.  Small businesses are defined as those who employ fewer than one hundred employees and whose annual revenues are less than $20 million.

Small businesses owners in Texas, particularly in North Texas,  play a crucial role in strengthening our economy and creating vitally needed jobs. Women owned businesses, for instance, are helping to change the face of our nation’s economic infrastructure.

Currently, women are the majority owners of a third of America’s small businesses.  They own half of all small businesses in this country, according to statistics keep by the Small Business Administration.

In the past, I’ve hosted, with the assistance of the Small Business Administration, a series of forums dealing with small business issues, development and growth.  The purpose of the forums at the Bill J. Priest Center for Economic Development in South Dallas, were to promote efforts aimed at strengthening the role of women business owners in the community.

Specifically, the session which was attended by approximately fifty small business owners this summer was designed to provide management and financial assistance that enhances women owned businesses.

Yolanda Olivarez, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Regional Administrator,  outlined for the attendees  various programs that the SBA has in place to assist them. She also spent considerable time talking about three concerns that many small business owners have, capital, contracting and counseling.

In excess of $75 million in SBA loans have been made to women owned businesses in the Dallas region since we have placed a major emphasis on the growth of small businesses owned by women, she said.

The SBA’s office of Women Business Ownership advocates on behalf of businesses owned by females.  There are approximately one hundred women’s business centers located throughout the country which provide training, mentoring and counseling services to women business owners.

We will continue to match willing individuals with government officials, and private sectors participants who will provide a comprehensive view from a local, state and federal perspective of what it takes for business owners to become successful.

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