GAMBRILLS, Md. – U. S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and U.S. Representative Donna F. Edwards (Md.-04) today joined a roundtable organized by the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce on the challenges and opportunities that face local small businesses. Senator Cardin and Representative Edwards shared their perspectives and heard from about 30 area small business owners, as well as representatives from the Small Business Administration, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Government Services Administration, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland Chamber of Commerce and Laurel Board of Trade, among others. The participants in the roundtable discussed a wide range of issues, including efforts to update the tax code, affordable higher education, infrastructure needs, cybersecurity and the federal budget.
“We have more than a half-million small businesses here in Maryland; they are the backbone of our economy. It’s why Congresswoman Edwards and I want to make sure the federal government remains a reliable customer and a partner in their growth and not an obstacle,” said Senator Cardin. “We know that small businesses need stability to thrive, and they need their other federal partners – including Congress — to commit to saying no to the irresponsible cycle of temporary budget measures, sequestration and short-sighted spending cuts.”
“Small businesses are the engines of economic growth in Maryland and across the country,” Representative Edwards said. “That is why Senator Cardin and I are committed to critical investments, fiscal stability, and tax proposals that work for our small businesses and create good, high-paying jobs for all Marylanders.”
“With so much of Maryland’s small business activity directly connected to the work of federal agencies, we cannot underestimate the importance of passing responsible, long-term budget measures that provide a platform for small businesses to grow,” Senator Cardin also said. “We also need to find more ways to support investments in critical infrastructure, including roads, mass transit and water.”
“We must also ensure that women– and minority–owned businesses have a fair shot to compete,” Representative Edwards added. “That means ensuring that all our small businesses have the ability to compete for contracting opportunities, thereby strengthening economic partnerships across our state and giving a boost to Maryland’s economy.”
Nationwide, small businesses employ about half of all private sector employees and create more than half of the non-farm private gross domestic product. Since 1995, small businesses have generated 64 percent of new jobs, and paid 44 percent of the total United States private payroll, according to the Small Business Administration.