THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, everybody, very much. Good morning and I greatly appreciate you being here. We have some real experts with us and we have some great bankers with us.
Today's discussion is crucial to my jobs agenda and to the American people. Community banks play a vital role in helping create jobs by providing approximately half of all loans to small businesses, and that's been dwindling because the community banks have been in big trouble.
Nearly half of all private-sector workers are employed by small businesses. We must ensure access to capital. Small businesses -- small businesses to grow. Community banks are the backbone of small business in America. We are going to preserve our community banks.
You probably know this -- I signed an executive order on regulation on February 3rd, I believe it was. And that's a big executive order, a very powerful executive order. It's taking a lot of the regulation away. You'll be able to loan. You'll be able to be safe. But you'll be able to provide the jobs that we want and also create great businesses.
So it's an honor to have you with us today, and perhaps we could go around the room. And we'll start with Dorothy, and say who you are and who you represent.
Go ahead, Dorothy.
MS. SAVARESE: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm Dorothy Savarese. I'm from Cape Cod Five Mutual Company on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
MS. ANDERSEN: And I'm Leslie Andersen, and I'm with the Bank of Bennington in Bennington, Nebraska.
MR. ZIMMERMAN: Tim Zimmerman, Standard Bank in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
THE PRESIDENT: Great.
MS. ROMERO RAINEY: Rebeca Romero Rainey from Centinel Bank in beautiful Taos, New Mexico.
THE PRESIDENT: Very good.
MS. CUNDIFF: I'm Luanne Cundiff with First State Bank of St. Charles.
MR. Heitkamp: I'm Scott Heitkamp, ValueBank Texas in Corpus Christi, Texas.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thanks, Scott.
MS. STEWART: Laura Steward from the other Washington -- Seattle. (Laughter.)
MR. SZYPERSKI: Jeff Szyperski from Chesapeake Bank from Kilmarnock, Virginia.
THE PRESIDENT: Good, thank you.
MR. BURGESS: And I'm Ken Burgess with FirstCapital Bank of Texas in Midland, Texas.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. Thank you.
Okay, thank you very much. Thank you.