U.S. Senator Chris Coons hosted a 75-minute roundtable discussion with 12 small business leaders on Wednesday afternoon to listen to their concerns about the economic recovery and discuss ideas for helping their "main street" businesses grow and create jobs.
"One, two, or ten at a time, Delaware's small businesses are responsible for the majority of our state's jobs," Senator Coons said. "We can't afford to limit our focus to the next big factory or corporate headquarters. We have to support and nurture the businesses that line our main streets and comprise the fabric of our communities."
Among the topics discussed at Wednesday's roundtable were the cost and availability of quality health care, expanding infrastructure and public transportation, and expanding access to Delaware's high-quality talent pool.
"The folks around the table today feel every bump on our nation's road to economic recovery," Senator Coons said. "The recession hit businesses like theirs hard, and we need to make sure that we're listening to them as we rebuild our economy."
The roundtable was the third of three Senator Coons has hosted this month to engage Delawareans in a candid conversation about strategies for helping businesses create much-needed jobs. The first two were held last week and focused on jobs for America's veterans, and growth in Delaware's high-tech and R&D sector.
Participants in Wednesday's roundtable included:
* Tim Brubaker, Waste Management, Inc.
* Bob Chadwick, New Castle County Chamber of Commerce
* Thomas Hanna, Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc.
* Bill Lower, Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc.
* Patrick Oakes, Apex Piping Systems, Inc.
* Bobby Pancake, Buffalo Wild Wings
* Richard Piendak, Richard's Paving of Newport, Inc.
* Chad Reynolds, Daystar Sills
* John Stevens, Apex Piping Systems, Inc.
* John Wik, Newport Rowing Club
* Greg Wolfgang, Evergreen Apartment Group
* Silvia Zsoldos, Success Programs, Inc.
Next month, Senator Tom Carper and Representative John Carney will join Senator Coons in hosting a third job fair for Delawareans. It will be held on September 26th in Georgetown.