Make us your home page

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

  1. Florida turns over voter-roll data to Trump election commission

    State Roundup

    Florida provided voter-roll data to President Donald Trump's election fraud commission Friday despite a lawsuit by the ACLU of Florida attempting to prevent the state from providing the information.

    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, lead the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which is seeking voter data from every state.
  2. Wells Fargo charged 800,000 for unnecessary auto insurance, internal report says


    Wells Fargo incorrectly charged 800,000 of its auto loan customers for unnecessary auto insurance, according to an internal report obtained by The New York Times. According to the report, about 274,000 of those customers were forced into delinquency on their loans, which resulted in 25,000 repossessions. …

    An internal Wells Fargo report obtained by The New York Times said the bank charged more than 800,000 people for auto insurance they did not need.  | [Los Angeles Times]
  3. Trigaux: Do we all need PhDs to fight scams, frauds and rip-offs?


    There are days when it feels like our school priorities are all wrong. Literature? Math? Computers? Nah. What everyone really needs to survive in the 21st century is a PhD in fighting the rise of increasingly creative consumer scams, frauds and rip-offs.

    As solar panels become cheaper and more popular, consumer agencies are starting to see a rise in consumer complaints about misleading and deceptive solar offerings. Solar scams are noted in a national report on major consumer complaints issued this week by the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators. [William Levesque, Times]
  4. Starbucks to close all Teavana locations, including five in Tampa Bay


    Local Teavana locations include Tyrone Square in St. Petersburg, International Plaza and Westfield Citrus Park in Tampa, Brandon and Clearwater.

    Starbucks announced Thursday plans to shut down all 379 Teavana stores, citing "underperformance." Starbucks acquired the mall-based tea chain for $620 million in 2012. [ CANDICE CHOI | AP file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Closing Iron Yard coding school hits area tech hard but leaders talk of options


    The coming shutdown this fall of the Iron Yard software coding school in downtown St. Petersburg — announced this month as part of a national closing of all 15 Iron Yard locations — remains a shocking event to a Tampa Bay technology community that dreams big of becoming a major player in the Southeast if not …

    In better days last fall, friends and family of graduates at The Iron Yard, based in the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg, applaud during "Demo Day" when grads of the coding school show off their skills. Despite the local success and strong job placement by the coding school, The Iron Yard is closing all of its 15 locations across the country this summer. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]