Out of over 27 million small businesses nationwide, New York City is home to almost one million. In addition to being essential to our local communities, small businesses are our nation’s most important job creators. Small businesses employ over half of all private sector employees, and have created 64% of new jobs within the past 15 years.
Our City and nation flourish when ordinary individuals turn their passion into a successful business that not only grows our economy, but also inspires other entrepreneurs to succeed.
One example of success is Lisa Price, the founder of Carol’s Daughter. Her story began when she started creating natural creams and lotions in her kitchen sink with the support of her family and friends. In 1993, Lisa decided to share her passion with the world and launched Carol’s Daughter. A decade later, she opened her flagship store in my congressional district in Harlem on 125th street. Today, Lisa is the CEO of a multi-million dollar beauty empire with more than 80 employees who help her run nine stores across the country. She has recently been appointed as one of the 15 members of the National Business Women’s Council.
Lisa’s story is proof that the American Dream still lives. We can still achieve our dreams through hard work and determination. Visionaries like Lisa serve as an inspiration to business owners and entrepreneurs not just in my community, but across our great nation as we continue to revitalize our economy.
We are starting to see signs that our economy is beginning to recover from the Bush Administration’s two unfunded wars, tax cuts for the richest, and culture of deregulation and unaccountability. In April, we saw the strongest job growth in five years: in just three months, we’ve added more than 750,000 private sector jobs.
To encourage more growth, I remain committed to working closely with my Colleagues and President Obama in helping small businesses thrive. Last September, we passed the Small Business Jobs Act, which provides a $30 billion dollar fund that allows at least $15 billion dollars in lending, and provides new tax benefits for small businesses. I am proud to have shepherded the passage of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which gave a payroll tax holiday to businesses that hire unemployed workers, employ over 300,000 and a tax credit of $1,000 to retain these employees. The HIRE Act alone was directly responsible for over 460,000 New Yorkers gaining employment.
Putting Americans, especially New Yorkers, back to work is one of my top priorities. Over the last two years, we’ve helped small businesses by providing more tax relief, more access to capital, more federal contracting opportunities, more exporting support, more counseling and training, and more protections. The recently introduced Small Business Agenda by President Obama will help create an environment for small businesses to prosper and grow by building on our past achievements. We will continue to work to foster more accomplishments for our budding entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Congressman Charles B. Rangel represents the 15th District of New York, now serving in his 20th term. He was the first African American to Chair the House Ways and Means Committee and is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.