U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC), a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, today co-hosted a North Carolina Minority-Owned Small Business Round Table with Small Business Administration's (SBA) Deputy Administrator Marie Johns in Cary. The discussion focused on ways to help North Carolina's minority-owned small businesses overcome challenges to growing their businesses and creating jobs. The roundtable was the 11th stop on Hagan's North Carolina Back to Work Jobs Tour.
"I'm here to learn from you about the issues and challenges facing our North Carolina minority-owned businesses," said Hagan. "North Carolina's small businesses are key to getting our economy back on track. That is why just this week I announced legislation to reduce the paperwork burdens that too often stand in the way of success for our small businesses. I will continue working with the SBA and my colleagues in Congress to ensure that the government is responsive to the needs of small businesses, so they can focus on what they do best: growing and creating jobs."
During the roundtable participants also discussed an SBA pilot program that is providing loans to non-profit intermediaries with the goal of delivering small businesses greater access to capital. The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which Senator Hagan fought for,established the SBA Intermediary Lending Program pilot. The Support Center in Durham NC, which participated in today's roundtable, is one of 20 intermediaries currently participating in the three-year nationwide pilot program.
"Senator Hagan is to be commended for her outreach in North Carolina and for making sure that all sectors are included in economic recovery," said Lenwood Long, CEO and President of the Support Center. "To bring together such a wide community of lenders and businesses shows her understanding of the diverse needs of North Carolina's business community."
The following business and community leaders participated in today's roundtable:
A10 Clinical Solutions President and CEO Leah Brown
Sepi Engineering President and Founder Sepi Asefnia
Innovative Systems Group CEO Tony Marshall
Support Center President and CEO Lenwood Long
Raleigh Business and Technology Center Executive Director Bob Robinson
JASZ Technology President and CEO Toni Taylor
The Small Business Common Application Act, which Hagan announced on Monday, will reduce the paperwork burden on small businesses. The bill will create a common application that will allow small business owners to apply for grants, seek technical assistance or bid on contracts from the federal government with a single form. For more information about Senator Hagan's Small Business Common Application Act, please click here.