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For America, small business is a big deal 

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As chairman of the House Small Business Committee, I’m privileged to hear the stories of every day Americans waking up at the crack of dawn to pursue their own version of the American Dream. On this National Small Business Week, we honor those who put everything on the line to run that race. 

My role in Congress has afforded me a unique opportunity to sit in the front seat of a changing technology driven economy. Our Committee not only fights on behalf of the small businesses on Main Street in my hometown of Cincinnati, but also the startups that are born in the garages and basements of Silicon Valley and all the towns in between.

{mosads}Turning on the lights, the computers, and finding the energy each day to go out on a limb to pursue your dream takes true grit and courage. Businesses, no matter the size, started as an idea, and there is no doubt in my mind that the federal government should step out of their way and let them flourish.

It’s hard to overstate how important these innovators and entrepreneurs are to our communities. They embody the American dream. Our small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all businesses with employees in the United States, and employ nearly 48 percent of the total private sector.

Small businesses—America’s biggest asset—employ nearly 48 percent of the private sector workforce and create almost 62 percent of new jobs. In fact, as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses revealed that small business optimism is at a 30 year high. It’s no coincidence that the when the government regulates these mom-and-pop shops less—they are empowered to succeed.

The fact is, when small businesses are strong, America is strong. Just ask Sheffer Corporation’s CEO and President, Jeff Norris, from Blue Ash, Ohio, on the border of my district, who was able to give all 126 employees $1,000 bonuses, or Julia Mueller, an employee of First Communications in Fairlawn, Ohio, who broke out into tears when she heard that she, too would benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

These are the stories I hear about every time I convene a hearing, or meet a constituent. The increased benefits, new jobs, bonuses, and salary increases are tangible manifestations of the work we do here in Congress every day on behalf of America’s 30 million small businesses.

With the heightened awareness of privacy, hacking and cybersecurity from nefarious actors, I’ve also made it a priority of the committee to confront these issues that can tank a small business in a heartbeat.

We’ve held multiple hearings ranging from how the federal government and small businesses can promote greater information sharing, to hearings on how to combat foreign cyber threats from countries like Russia and China. Small businesses often don’t have access to the myriad of cybersecurity experts and legal teams. It’s our job to ensure we’ve got their back when they contribute so much to our local economies.

So, to the innovators, the risk-takers, and the opportunity creators this week and every week, we celebrate you. Thank you for being the engine of our economy, the heartbeat of our nation, and the models of success for which we should all strive. 

Congressman Steve Chabot represents Ohio’s 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives where he is chairman of the House Committee on Small Business. He is also a senior member of the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Foreign Affairs. You can follow the committee on Twitter @HouseSmallBiz.

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