Today, Congressmen Bill Owens and Paul Tonko joined together at Skidmore College to host a forum on small business issues and local job creation. Owens and Tonko were joined by local economic development leaders including Peter Aust of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, Todd Shimkus of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and Regional Administrator Bernard Paprocki of the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as small business owners from the region.
Congressmen Owens and Tonko noted the fact that over 60% of new private sector jobs over the past 15 years have been created by small businesses. The event highlighted opportunities for counseling and lending opportunities through the Small Business Administration as well as procurement and contracting opportunities for small businesses.
"I am grateful to everyone who turned out today to offer their thoughts on how we can better support local business," Congressman Bill Owens said. "Local leaders and business owners are doing good work to lay the groundwork for job growth and new development, and I appreciate their insights on how Members of Congress like myself and Paul Tonko can help support their efforts in Washington."
"Small businesses are the engines of economic growth and job creation," said Congressman Paul Tonko. "Events like today's allow Bill Owens and me to hear directly from our job creators, which is invaluable as a resource. It also provides small businesses the chance to hear directly from the administration, understand how to win contracts and ask questions about programs that the SBA offers that could help them grow their business and create jobs."
"Helping small businesses start and expand is critical to our way of life here in Upstate NY," said SBA Acting Regional Administrator Bernard Paprocki. "The exchange of information and ideas at events like this can be very valuable in making that happen."
"On behalf of our 2,700 members all across Saratoga County, I want to thank U.S. Congressman Bill Owens and U.S. Congressman Paul Tonko for joining together to listen to the ideas, opportunities and challenges facing our region's employers and for inviting the U.S. Small Business Administration to participate in this forum," said Todd Shimkus of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce. "I believe this is the first time that these two Congressmen have hosted such an open forum together since their districts we're adjusted to include Saratoga County and so we're honored to be a part of this special event. We believe in convening creative ideas and positive partnerships and this forum will do just that."
"Clearly, Representatives Owens and Tonko fully comprehend the impact that small business has on our economic recovery and job creation," said Peter Aust of the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce. "By hosting this vital forum and holding this crucial dialogue with small business, they are showing their commitment to ensuring our local and regional economies continue to grow and prosper."