This week marks the 49th annual National Small Business Week, celebrated each year to recognize entrepreneurs and small business owners in the United States. Observed from May 20-26, National Small Business Week comes at a time when optimism over the economy is on the rise. However, we still have a lot of work to do and, as America's market begins to recover, it is essential that we support our nation's more than 27 million small businesses.
Last year, small businesses contributed to 30 percent of America's payroll and 21 percent of its revenue. That is why they are often described as the backbone of America' economy. Unfortunately, however, small businesses were hit hard during the economic downturn and legislative relief is greatly needed. It is essential that we provide small businesses with tax and other incentives in order to strengthen entrepreneurship and help revitalize the American dream. By supporting businesses created by ambitious and innovative Americans, we can restore one of the fundamental principles that our nation was built on: that no aspiration is out of reach and that hard work is rewarded.
As Co-Chair of the Democratic Caucus' Congressional Task Force on Job Creation, I understand the need to pass policy initiatives that stimulate economic growth and job creation. Congress should work to create opportunities for smart, savvy small business owners to thrive and thereby ensure that our economic recovery continues. After all, small businesses are responsible for creating more than 60 percent of new jobs. To this end, I urge my colleagues in Congress to join me in crafting and supporting legislation, such as the "Make it in America" initiative, that will continue to assist entrepreneurs in our country not only during National Small Business Week, but all year round.
It is also important to remember that the issue of helping small businesses goes beyond party politics. I have cosponsored legislation from both sides of the aisle aimed at helping small businesses succeed. Democrat or Republican, it is vital that we all come together on this issue.
While the government has the potential to play a key role in assisting small businesses, we can all do our part to help. In honor of National Small Business Week, I encourage people nationwide to support local "mom-and-pop shops." Together, I am confident that we can get America's economy back on track and restore the promise of the American dream.