Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) marked the one-year anniversary of the Small Business Jobs Act becoming law. Cantwell played a lead role in authoring the legislation and fighting for its passage in the Senate. President Obama signed it into law at a White House ceremony with Cantwell and Joe Fugere, owner of Seattle-based Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria, on September 27, 2010:
"This recession began on Wall Street, but it will be the work of entrepreneurs on Main Street who will lead us out. A key ingredient to getting those small businesses and start-ups on Main Street investing, growing, and hiring again is increased access to lending capital. We took an important step in that direction when the Small Business Jobs Act (SBJA) was signed into law one year ago today.
"This new law has greatly expanded opportunities for small businesses to power our economic engine. On a recent tour of Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle, I saw just how the SBJA is helping our economy get back on track. Elysian's CEO, Joe Bisacca, was able to invest in a new facility and hired 35 new employees with increased access to capital made possible by the Small Business Jobs Act.
"I fought hard to make sure the final bill language included a Small Business Lending Fund. The Fund provides another way to get job-producing dollars flowing from community banks to businesses. And when the Fund began releasing capital to community banks, U & I Financial Corp of Lynnwood, Washington was among the first six recipients. We also established a State Trade and Export Promotion Grant Program (STEP) that is helping Washington state's small businesses market their products and increase exports to other countries.
"The Small Business Jobs Act is helping to right a wrong done to small businesses when Wall Street cut off their access to lending capital. The 27 million small businesses operating in America traditionally have created 75 percent of all new jobs, but their ability to grow was severely hampered when credit and investment dried up during the recession. For the past year this new law has targeted resources at the job creators on Main Street who are getting our economy back on track. We need to continue fighting to help small businesses access the capital they need to expand and create jobs in our communities. The Small Business Jobs Act is a key step to the turnaround in small business job creation, helping Main Street businesses put America back to work."