Make us your home page
Instagram

Obama says helping small businesses grow is a top priority

WASHINGTON — U.S. small businesses are still being starved of the capital they need to create jobs and help pull the economy out of recession, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

In a town-hall meeting at Industrial Support Inc., a small manufacturing company in Buffalo, N.Y., Obama said helping small businesses grow is a top priority for his economic team.

"Maybe the single most important thing we can do right now is to help ensure that credit-worthy small-business owners can get the capital they need," Obama said, according to prepared remarks released in Washington.

"This is our small-business agenda. This is our jobs agenda," he said.

In his remarks, Obama hailed the latest progress in the economy, noting that employment had risen for four months in a row. But he quickly added that he won't rest until everyone who wants to work can find a job.

"If you're still looking for a job, it's still a recession," Obama said. "If you can't pay your bills or your mortgage, it's still a recession. No matter what the economists say, it's not a real recovery until people can feel it in their own lives — until Americans who want work can find it; until families can afford to pay their bills and send their kids to college."

Citing last week's economic reports showing job growth in the United States for the fourth straight month, the president argued that his efforts to rescue the economy are working. He focused on his administration's efforts to help small businesses.

Last week, the administration unveiled legislation "to give our small businesses a boost," in the president's words. The legislation includes a $30 billion fund to increase lending to credit-worthy businesses.

Earlier Thursday, the Congressional Oversight Panel over the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program concluded that the government's efforts to funnel capital to small businesses have had little effect so far.

It's not clear that small businesses are being denied credit, the report said. The data show lending is down sharply, but it's unknown whether that's because banks won't lend or because businesses don't want to borrow.

The bipartisan panel threw some cold water on Obama's $30 billion plan. It could arrive too late to contribute meaningfully to economic recovery," the group said.

Help for small businesses would be especially welcome in cities like Buffalo, where large corporations have downsized and manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas.

Western New York long has suffered from a lack of job growth and population losses. Two New York state residents who've started a website to draw attention to unemployment and other problems they blame on Washington put up a billboard along Interstate 190 that reads: "Dear Mr. President. I need a freakin job. Period."

Obama says helping small businesses grow is a top priority 05/13/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 8:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, MarketWatch.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  2. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  3. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO

    Corporate

    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Sherry Smith is taking over as CEO at Triad Retail Media, the company announced Monday. | [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  5. Two new condo projects for same street in downtown St. Pete

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — It lacks the panache and name recognition of Beach Drive, but 4th Avenue N in downtown St. Petersburg is becoming a condo row in its own right.

    Bezu, a condo project planned at 100 Fourth Ave. NE in downtown St. Petersburg, will have 24 units including a three-level penthouse with infinity pool.
[Courtesy of Clear ph Design]