DEPARTMENTS OF COMMERCE, JUSTICE, AND STATE, THE JUDICIARY, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 -- (Extensions of Remarks - July 16, 2004)
HON. KENNY C. HULSHOF
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2004
The House in Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 4754) making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes:
Mr. HULSHOF. Mr. Chairman, This great country of ours was built on the, backs of willing and abled entrepreneurs who, with a little faith and help, started their own businesses in hopes of achieving the American dream of prosperity and success. It is this desire to own a business that is the backbone of our economy. With small businesses representing more than 99 percent of all employers and creating roughly 75 percent of the net new jobs, it is quite clear to see their importance in the economy.
As such, I rise today in support of the amendment offered by the gentleman from Illinois to maintain level funding for the 7(a) loan program. One of the most successful tools in the Small Business Administration's arsenal, the 7(a) loan program helps qualified businesses acquire financing when they may otherwise be prevented from obtaining a loan through the normal financial channels.
During the 2002-2003 fiscal years, the 9th district of Missouri, which I have the distinct honor of representing, received $37 million in 7(a) loans. This translates into the creation and/or retention of more than 1,100 jobs in the small business community. For rural districts, like mine, this incentive is essential.
One example of this is Moresource, Inc. located in Columbia, MO, which is in my district and where I currently live with my family. In 1994, Kat Cunningham had an idea to create a business that would focus solely on the management of employee administrative matters, such as payroll, tax compliance, health benefits and other human resources issues. Her thought was that by handling these cumbersome and time consuming tasks, small businesses can focus on increasing productivity and their core business objective.
With the aid of a sizeable Small Business Administration 7(a) loan, Kat turned this concept into a reality and created Moresource, Inc. 10 years later, the company has grown from 5 internal employees and 200 leased employees to 7 internal and more than 1,500 leased employees. Kat will tell you that without the assistance of a 7(a) loan, it is questionable whether Moresource would have had the opportunity to get off the ground.
Stephanie Perkins also credits the 7(a) loan program with making her dreams come true. Because of challenges Stephanie faced in obtaining a loan through traditional lenders, the 7(a) loan program provided her with the capital she needed to start up her own business. Stephanie opened the doors to Brown Station Early Learning Center in the fall of 2000 with help from the 7(a) loan program. Since that time, she has almost doubled the employees in her daycare center, which provides Columbia working parents with the peace of mind of knowing that their children are in safe and caring hands.
These are just two examples of how critical the 7(a) loan program is to Missouri businesses. It also illustrates the hand-up it can provide to support and encourage women who are willing to take risks and start a business venture. In the state of Missouri, we have an estimated, according to the Center for Women's Business Research, 129,865 privately held companies in which women hold the majority of ownership, accounting for 30.8 percent of all privately held firms in the state. The success of these outstanding women has contributed to the employment of 241,992 Missourians and generated $26 billion in sales.
The 7(a) loan program is crucial to developing and sustaining small businesses in America. It is also small business entrepreneurs that we have to thank for the 1.5 million jobs that have been created in the past 10 months. Furthermore, these enterprising and hard-working individuals have brought us an unemployment rate that is lower than the decade averages of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. For these and many other reasons, I urge all my colleagues to support small business and economic growth with a vote for the Manzullo amendment.