Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) at McNally's Foods in Grinnell, Iowa.
Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) at McNally’s Foods in Grinnell, Iowa.

On Thursday afternoon, Congressman Rod Blum (R-Iowa) along with Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-Florida) and Al Lawson (D-Florida) announced the introduction legislation that authorizes the fourth White House Conference on Small Business (WHCSB).

A critical piece to the success of the WHCSB is the utilization of state conferences to ensure broad and equitable representation of the very diverse small-business community. Through the state conferences, which feed into the regional conferences and then into the National Conference to be held in Washington, DC, small-business owners can develop, enhance and fully embrace the key issues facing small businesses nationwide.

The White House Conference on Small Business (WHCSB) has occurred three times in the past; in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter, 1986 under President Ronald Reagan, and 1995 under President Bill Clinton. Each National Conference issued 60 policy recommendations for Congress and the Administration to consider.

This new legislation would require the WHCSB to occur no earlier than December 31, 2018 and no later than December 1, 2019. Delegates to the National Conference would include one delegate appointed by each Governor or State, one delegate appointed by each Member of the Senate, one delegate appointed by each Member of the House, additional delegates appointed from the respective state conferences, and one hundred delegates appointed by the President.

This legislation would allow the Small Business Administration (SBA) to accept monetary and non-monetary resources from non-Federal sources to fully fund each of three layers of the WHCSB: state conferences, regional conferences, and the National Conference to be held in Washington, DC.

“The White House Conference on Small Business will provide an opportunity for small businesses in all 50 states to provide input on how government can help small businesses thrive. Since President Trump is a businessman who knows that small businesses are the backbone of the economy, now is the perfect time for this legislation and I am looking forward to watching along as the conference progresses,” Blum said.

“Small businesses are the engine of our economy and we must provide them with a pathway to success,” Murphy, who serves as Ranking Member of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce, stated. “Too often, Washington legislates and regulates without sufficient understanding of how its actions impact small businesses. Our bill will give the nation’s job creators the opportunity to directly engage with the federal government so it can implement smart, informed policies that empower entrepreneurs and strengthen our economy.”

“The WHCSB would allow small business representatives from around the nation to come together and engage in productive discussions on what the federal government can do to make their businesses more successful,” Lawson added. “Small businesses make our communities unique and vibrant places to live. Florida’s 5th District is home to many small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities. I am proud to support initiatives that will enable these entrepreneurs to contribute to our workforce, build our economy and reach their full potential.”

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