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Voting Scorecard Shows Lack of Support for Small Businesses in the 109th Congress

October 19, 2006

To: National Desk

Contact: Jill Van Dierendonck of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, 800-738-0653

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Today, a coalition of small business organizations, led by the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce (USWCC), released a voting scorecard (http://www.uswcc.org/scorecard) that evaluates Members of the U.S. House of Representatives on their support for this nation's small business owners in the 109th Congress.

"With the myriad of challenges facing small businesses today it is important to take a look at the progress that is being made in Congress to address these issues," Margot Dorfman, CEO of the USWCC, said. Cris Young, president of the National Procurement Council, adds, "This voting scorecard should remind both Members of Congress and small business owners about where they stand on the issues, and whether or not the level of need is matching the level of action entrepreneurs across the nation are seeing."

The report released by the USWCC in conjunction with the American Small Business League, Latino American Management Association, National Procurement Council, Small Business Majority and Business Professional Women/USA, reviewed nine votes that took place in the House of Representatives in the 109th Congress, which would have impacted small businesses. Some of the legislation did pass, but the majority was not adopted, raising questions about the commitment of Congress for small businesses.

"With the vital role that small businesses play in the economy today -- this scorecard illustrates the need for stronger commitment to small businesses in the next Congress," Art Lopez, Chair of the Latino American Management Association said. "Small business owners should be aware of the votes cast by their elected representatives and step up to be heard as important contributors to our economy," adds Deborah Frett, CEO of Business Professional Women/USA.

Small businesses are critical to economic growth - creating up to 80 percent of all new jobs, and representing 99.7 percent of all employers. Due to their significant economic contributions, small firms are often relied on for job creation and development throughout the U.S. The nine votes in this report were selected because of the direct impact they would have had on this nation's 24 million small businesses. The reviewed measures covered a broad array of issues facing entrepreneurs today, including closing the business ownership gap among minorities, ensuring assistance is provided for businesses impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and accessing affordable capital, and the $300 billion federal marketplace.

"The 109th Congress has given only lip service to small business. We've seen virtually no legislation that will provide significant benefits to small businesses or address the rampant fraud and abuse that has diverted billions of dollars in Federal small business contracts to the "who's who" of fortune 1000 corporations," says Lloyd Chapman, president of the American Small Business League.

The voting scorecard was released by a group of 6 small business trade associations that work on behalf of this nation's 24 million small businesses, and represent a membership of upward to 1 million small businesses, women owned businesses and minority firms across the country.

"The findings of this report underscore the fact that hardworking small business people, who are the heart and soul of the America Dream, continue to be ignored by our government, particularly over the past six years," said John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority.


The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce (tm) (http://www.uswcc.org) is the leading advocate for women on economic and leadership issues. The USWCC is a not-for-profit 501(c)6 organization founded in 2001; its headquarter offices are located in Washington, D.C.



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