SBE Council’s Kerrigan Responds to State of the Union Address

By at 13 February, 2013, 12:57 am

WASHINGTON, DC – Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President & CEO Karen Kerrigan issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:

“President Obama outlined an aggressive agenda, one that certainly seems to require more government spending and bigger government.  It’s hard to fathom that the programs singled out in his speech would not add a ‘single dime’ to our nation’s deficit.  Small business owners are rightly concerned about the deteriorating fiscal condition of America, but there was little in the President’s address to demonstrate a serious effort to get out-of-control spending in check.

“The President’s minimum wage hike will destroy jobs and harm the very workers he wants to help.  Unfortunately, the hike is a slap at small business owners who are struggling in the weak economy along with higher energy, health coverage and other business costs.  The wage hike will undermine the economic recovery and hurt entrepreneurship.

“Certainly we welcome the President’s pursuit of immigration reform, and expanding global market access for entrepreneurs. These are pro-growth initiatives, and hopefully the critical issue of tax reform will continue to move forward with the President’s support.  Tax reform is an area where bipartisan agreement is possible, but the President will need to stay highly engaged in order for reform to happen.  Small business confidence and performance is suffering because our tax system is burdensome and punitive for entrepreneurs.  Making America the best place in the world to do business requires a tax code that is stable, globally competitive and investment friendly.

“Of course, we look forward to the details of the President’s education reform proposals.  There is a severe mismatch between what our education system produces, and what our modern economy needs.  Hopefully, these proposals include incentives to embed entrepreneurship education in our schools at an early age so that young people are exposed to the benefits and satisfaction of business ownership.

“Finally, on the issue of energy – an industry that is actually creating jobs and investing in projects – we hope the President’s climate change proposals are not focused on regulations or taxes that will hurt investment and growth in this sector where small businesses are flourishing.  In addition, with prices on the rise, small business consumers of energy cannot afford government actions that will drive such prices higher.

“Our organization and small business owners look forward to working with President Obama on policy initiatives that help to improve the economic and business climate for entrepreneurs. By keeping the White House door open to entrepreneurs, we believe Washington can help to advance policies that address the key priorities and needs of our nation’s job creators.”

SBE Council is a national, nonpartisan advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit

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