The following is a transcript of a speech by Karen Mills, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration at the Democratic National Convention.
Hello, delegates. Especially those from my home state, the great state of Maine. And hello to all the small business owners out there!
From day one, President Obama has made small businesses a top priority in his White House—giving them the tools they need to turn their dreams into small businesses, and their small businesses into world-class companies. Giving them help. And then getting out of their way.
President Obama understands that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. After all, half of all Americans who work own or work for a small business. They create two-thirds of all new jobs. Small businesses are a big part of who we are.
When President Obama took office, the economy was in free-fall. Credit was frozen. Small businesses weren't thinking about expansion; they were thinking about survival. The president knew that one of the most important things he could do was give small businesses a fighting chance. So, he took action.
Right away, President Obama cut small business taxes—not once or twice, but 18 times. He put a record volume of guaranteed loans into the hands of America's small businesses. He eliminated pages of burdensome forms and regulations so that small business owners can focus on profits instead of paperwork. He made the federal government pay small business contractors not in 30 days, but in 15 to help entrepreneurs to make their payrolls and buy new equipment. He even gave small businesses a seat at the table in his cabinet.
Today, small business owners are having very different conversations than they were three-and-a-half years ago. Today, they're talking about strategies to fill larger orders, blueprints for bigger factories, and plans to hire more workers. Like Raleigh Denim, a husband and wife team making blue jeans right here inNorth Carolina, and exporting them to eight countries on three continents.
America's entrepreneurs—like Raleigh Denim —are our greatest asset. And President Obama has delivered for them. He understands that Washington doesn't create jobs; small businesses do. Government's role is to put the wind at their backs. And after the worst economic storm in generations, that's exactly what President Obama is doing—expanding access and opportunity in every corner of all 50 states. And when the American people re-elect President Obama, he will finish the work that he's started because across this country, we know when small businesses succeed, America succeeds.