Startups play an integral role in the economy, give them the resources that help them to succeed
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One of the great things that has defined our nation since its inception has been our entrepreneurial spirit. People from all across our country and different walks of life have dreamed of starting their own business, nurturing it, and seeing it grow into a successful enterprise. Startups play a significant role in the strength of our economy and the everyday lives of the American people.

Next week, we will celebrate Startup Week Across America, a bipartisan effort to raise awareness about the significance of startups and their impact on both a local and national level. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle will visit startups in their regions to learn more about the inspiring work being done by new small businesses. The goal will be for all of us to hear from owners and employees about their challenges and successes and what Congress can do to help foster their growth.

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Our country’s economy depends on good startups. Not only do they lead the way in innovation, but they are crucial job creators that support countless families. In 2015, startup firms created 2.5 million jobs, roughly 15 percent of all new job creation that year. In 2017, startups represented almost 9.5 percent of all private sector firms in the United States. Firms less than a year old and with 10 or fewer employees created 1.9 million jobs and more than half of these jobs were created by firms with four employees or less. While the tech industry has been a leading contributor to the success of startups, we’re seeing startups emerge in all kinds of industries including health care, entertainment and retail, among others.

We owe it to these startups and to those thinking of starting their own company to support their efforts. Congress can help create an environment that allows every person in America the opportunity to develop an idea, start a company and see it through to success. We need policies that remove barriers and foster competition. For future business owners, it’s not that much to ask.

To see people take a chance by starting their own business is one of the most inspiring things to witness. As we approach Startup Week Across America, let’s remember all of the people who took that chance. We all know someone who has started their own business. We’ve seen them struggle, especially in those early months when money is scarce and all they have left is their determination. We’ve also seen them fight through those tough times, using their creative ingenuity and passion for what they love, to overcome the odds. Let’s give these entrepreneurs the right resources that help them to succeed, and then watch as they surprise us all with their next groundbreaking achievement.

DelBene represents the 1st District of Washington. Hultgren represents the 14th District of Illinois.