Today, George Allen continued his Virginia Voices tour by meeting with small business owners and community leaders for a roundtable discussion hosted by the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce. Established in 1954, the Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce represents more than 425 local businesses. George Allen was welcomed to the Chamber by President Barbara Doyle, Hispanic Business Committee Chair Daisy Figueroa and Board Member Jay McConville.
Attendees included small business owners and community leaders from a variety of industries and interests, including health care and pharmacy, consulting, commercial banking, construction, real estate and philanthropy. As George Allen listened to concerns and ideas during the roundtable discussion, hard-working Virginians shared a similar message: Washington makes business more expensive.
"As a small business owner, I wish Washington would walk a mile in my shoes and understand what it's like to balance a budget under the taxes, regulations and energy costs they've created," said Vanessa Wheeler, owner of Holly, Woods and Vines. "I don't want to be controlled by the government. George Allen understands we can't spend money we don't have, tax hikes don't create jobs, and more regulations mean less money to live on. I'm glad to know that George Allen will be a voice for small businesses like mine who need less government and more freedom."
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of U.S. businesses, employing nearly half of all private sector employees. Over the past 17 years, small businesses have generated 65 percent of the net new jobs. Additionally, small businesses feel the effects of Washington's policies more intensely than larger businesses. The Small Business Administration reports that businesses with fewer than 20 employees spend 36 percent more per employee than larger businesses to comply with federal regulations.
"Susan and I and our family live in the Mount Vernon area," said George Allen, "and all our children are in or attended Fairfax County public schools, so we are acutely aware of the challenges facing small businesses and families in our community. We know that taxes, regulations, fuel prices, congested roads and transportation, and schools are what families talk most about at their kitchen tables in Fairfax County.
"Small businesses are the key to more jobs in our community, and they should have a government working with them, not against them," continued George Allen. "Yet Washington aims to raise taxes on hard-working people and small businesses -- a job-destroying proposal coming from a Congress that hasn't finalized a budget in years. With 41 consecutive months of national unemployment over 8 percent and underemployment around 18 percent, the last thing Congress should do is raise taxes. I'm ready to bring to the U.S. Senate my proven record of bipartisan leadership for more fair tax laws, reasonable regulations, productive American energy freedom and empowering education policies to help create the jobs our communities need."
Virginia Voices launched in June to highlight the stories, concerns and ideas of Virginians whose voices are not being heard in Washington. Visit www.VirginiaVoices.com to learn more.