U.S. Rep. Ron Barber has been appointed to the House Committee on Small Business, giving him a key role in which to advocate for businesses in Southern Arizona.
"Small businesses are the economic engine of Arizona, with more than 61,000 small businesses employing more than 1 million people," Barber said today. "As our nation and our state continue to recover from the economic downturn, it is small businesses that will lead the recovery. As a former small business owner and a member of this committee, I am determined to be a strong voice for Southern Arizona businesses."
As a member of the committee, Barber will serve on the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access which evaluates the operation of the financial markets in the United States and their ability to provide needed capital to small businesses.
The subcommittee also oversees general tax policies affecting small businesses and financial assistance programs of the Small Business Administration.
Barber also will serve on the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade, which addresses policies that enhance rural economic growth, increase America's energy independence and ensure that America's small businesses can compete effectively in a global marketplace.
That subcommittee also has oversight of environmental issues and regulations, including agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.
"Everywhere I go in my district, I hear from small businesses concerned with access to capital, and how we can make the tax code friendlier to small businesses," Barber said. "I look forward to addressing the concerns of Southern Arizonans through my work on these subcommittees."
Barber joins Congressman David Schweikert of Arizona's 6th Congressional District on the Committee on Small Business.
Small businesses generally are defined by the Small Business Administration as those with fewer than 500 employees. Those businesses make up more than 95 percent of all employer firms in the United States and in Arizona, according to the Census.
This is the third committee on which Barber serves in the 113th Congress. He also is a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and the Armed Services Committee.
Both of those committees also are significant to Southern Arizonans. Homeland Security oversees the Border Patrol and other border-related agencies.
With three major military installations in Southern Arizona -- Fort Huachuca, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the 162nd Fighter Wing of the Arizona Air National Guard -- the actions of the Armed Services Committee also have a major impact on Southern Arizona.