Much discussion in Washington about tax reform has been centered on the corporate tax rate. While I agree that this sector needs reform, I believe lawmakers need to put small businesses, the backbone of America's economy, front and center of any discussion on reform ideas that will revitalize our economy.
Small businesses make up 95% of all business entities in the United States. They also hire 54% of all private sector employees. A jobs plan that doesn't provide serious reforms to give this critical segment of our economy the tools and freedom they need to thrive isn't a complete plan.
Last week, I had the privilege of traveling around Central Florida to hear directly from business owners about successful ways they have navigated a tough economy and what they need to grow, expand, and ultimately hire more Floridians. We discussed everything from the need for access to capital and freedom from burdensome regulations, to the need for skilled workers and training programs.
I heard about the role the government can play - or simply get out of the way - to help build confidence and certainty. We talked about molding public policy to reflect the importance of small businesses to our nation's economic growth and about how difficult it is to find other lawmakers in Washington who know or understand the needs of a small business.
Listening and truly hearing what these business owners had to say was extremely beneficial. While I'm a small businessman by background, it still helps to hear directly from others in different industries about ways to strengthen their companies to spur economic growth right here in Central Florida's communities.
I appreciate the new ideas I heard last week; there are some excellent initiatives I plan to follow up on and will keep you posted. But, the message I'm bringing back to Washington is one that I've been discussing for quite some time and was strongly reinforced on this week's jobs tour: make small business a big priority.