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At Maryland Food Bank, Mikulski Calls for Support of SNAP in Farm Bill
U.S. Senate Floor
September 15, 2010
Senator Mikulski made the following speech to urge her colleagues to vote in favor of the Small Business Jobs bill.
"I strongly support the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act because it will help small business create jobs in Maryland. I spent much of the summer visiting worksites in Maryland, from bakeries and micro breweries to old factories that have been retooled for today’s specialty manufacturing needs.
I talked with small business owners and their employees. Small business are stressed and strained. They are facing uncertainty, sluggish demand, and a lack of access to credit. Even those businesses that are thriving cannot expand or invest because they cannot get the loans they need to grow.
"I visited a start-up green energy business whose demand is skyrocketing but they lack access to credit to expand their business. I visited a wonderful family-owned bakery which reminded me of my grandmother’s bakery in Highlandtown. They don’t just bake bread, they build communities and create jobs. They want to expand. They need access to credit.
"I visited a machine tooling business in Baltimore which does precision metal work building metal components for our military and our space program. They want to retool.
"These are good guy businesses, working hard and playing by the rules. They want to expand. They want to hire and they want to upgrade their equipment. They want access to credit and they need a government on their side and at their side. The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act will help businesses get access to the credit they need to create jobs and strengthen our economy.
"People are anxious about the economy. They are worried their middle class lives are slipping away. In Maryland, we count on small businesses of all types to create jobs, to help people who are in the middle class stay there and those who want to get there be able to do so through hard work. From beauty shops to bio-tech, these are family businesses and small businesses in Maryland that need help. They don’t need a guaranteed outcome, but they do need to have access to credit.
"I am no Janey-come-lately to the issue of small business. My great-grandparents owned a local bakery and my father ran a grocery store. I often watched him open early for local steelworkers, automobile workers, and the people who worked making the famous National Boh beer down the street. They would buy their lunches before the morning shift. We know what it’s like to have a small business and to be able to meet a payroll and to be able to grow. I saw what it means to be able to provide service to the community, lend a helping hand, provide a good customer value for a hard day’s work. I believe that it is through these small entrepreneurial efforts that we will really get our economy going and growing.
"Now, we bailed out the banks. We’ve even bailed out other countries. Now we have to bail out the people who are building the jobs in the United State of America. That’s what I think this bill will do. I like that our bill gets credit flowing to small business. We create a small business lending fund at the Department of Treasury to help those community banks at the local level lend to small businesses. We make capital gains tax free to help small business be able to invest. We make sure that we help small business grow by making it less expensive to purchase new equipment because of the breaks we give. And we’re going to double the amount of start-up costs that small businesses can deduct from their taxes to help make sure they can get a jump-start on getting underway. I believe we’ve got practical, affordable solutions.
"Now some people ask, “Is this a baby TARP?” No, this isn’t a TARP. We don’t bail out Wall Street. We help Main Street. We help all of those people with the dream in their heart, with a small business underway, with the grit and determination to be able to create a job for themselves and for others and add a product and add value to the United States of America. And these are jobs that will stay in the United States of America.
"So let’s say ‘goodbye’ to sending tax breaks overseas and let’s say ‘hello’ to creating tax breaks that make sure our small businesses can grow.
"I hope we get this done this week to help get our economy rolling in the way we need to.