Senator Blackburn: Tennessee is Open for Business

May 9, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke on the Senate floor today about the important impact of small businesses on Tennessee. May 5-11, 2019 is National Small Business Week.

To watch the full segment, click below or HERE.


Remarks as Prepared

Mister President, I rise today in celebration of National Small Business Week.

For over five decades, National Small Business Week has been an opportunity to recognize the tremendous contribution of small businesses and entrepreneurs to the American economy. It has been said that there is nothing small about the economic impact of small business. And the statistics certainly bear that out. 

According to the most recent report from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy for my home state of Tennessee, there are over 603,000 small businesses in Tennessee, accounting for 99.4 percent of the businesses in our state. Collectively, these small businesses employ 1.1 Million people and account for 42.3 percent of our private sector workforce. A recent study also found that Tennessee is the fifth best state in the country for female-owned small businesses and they are seeing dynamic growth in both revenue and employment. 

We have heard a lot about the booming economy in recent weeks. These economic gains are a direct result of the tax cuts and regulatory reforms enacted by President Trump and Congressional Republicans. Since tax reform was signed into law, 3.2 million new jobs have been created, 90 percent of taxpayers have received a bigger paycheck, and jobless claims are the lowest they’ve been in 50 years. 

Mister President, here is the connective tissue between these encouraging statistics and what I hear from my constituents back home in Tennessee.

Because the economy is strong, now is a great time to start or expand a small business. Entrepreneurs feel confident so they are betting on themselves and making decisions that they need in order to succeed: They are hiring that new employee, adding that new store, and daring to turn their dreams into a reality. 

Small businesses are the key driver of our turbo-charged economy and we will continue to do all we can to help them thrive. 

As a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, I would like to thank those entrepreneurs who are veterans of our Armed Forces. 

Veterans make great small business owners and employees. The skills they learn defending our nation in uniform are uniquely well suited to succeed in business: discipline, focus, resilience, and the ability to plan, adapt and work collaboratively with others to get the job done.

These are the hallmarks of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines but they are also the qualities of successful entrepreneurs. 

The importance of the American small business is gauged not only by facts and figures. The true value of our small businesses comes not just from their contribution to the American Economy but their contribution to the American Dream. 

Entrepreneurship is the embodiment of the American Dream. It is about men and women pursuing their passions: they work hard, save their money, make a plan and put that plan into action. Often times they struggle, sometimes they fail – but they pick themselves up, persevere and they never stop trying. Our economy and our nation is stronger and better for their efforts. 

With that, Mister President, I yield the floor.