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U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) were joined by small business leaders and federal officials at a hearing this afternoon to discuss opportunities to spur innovation in order to create jobs and grow the economy.  The US Senate Small Business Committee field hearing was held at Southern New Hampshire University's College of Online and Continuing Education in Manchester.

"This afternoon's field hearing was an excellent opportunity to discuss one of our most important priorities: spurring small business innovation to create jobs and grow our economy," said Senators Shaheen and Ayotte.  "Small businesses are the engines of our economy, and the driving force behind research, development, and technological innovation.  We will continue to support efforts to help New Hampshire's small businesses grow and thrive."

Both Senators Shaheen and Ayotte have worked to bolster small business innovation through the Small Business Innovation Research program which was reauthorized in December of 2011.  The program helps small businesses compete for federal research and development resources and in total, New Hampshire companies have won more than 1,600 awards putting over $442 million into small businesses across the Granite State.

In New Hampshire small businesses make up 95 percent of the state's employers and nationally, small businesses create two out of every three new jobs. According to a report by the National Academy of Sciences, small businesses across the country also employ nearly 40 percent of the country’s scientists and engineers and also produce more than 14 times more patents than large businesses and universities. Together, these facts underscore the need to bolster small business innovation and growth on behalf of the country’s economic interests.

This afternoon marks the second time that Shaheen and Ayotte partnered to host a Small Business Committee field hearing in New Hampshire. In 2011 the two hosted a hearing to examine ways to boost small business exports and in June the two reintroduced the Small Business Export Growth Act which would help small businesses capitalize on export opportunities by removing red tape and improve federal export assistance programs.

This afternoon's hearing was attended by officials from Creare, Inc., Applied GeoSolutions, Celdara Medical, Dyn Inc., SustainX, QMagiQ Inc., Borealis Ventures, the Community College System of New Hampshire, the Small Business Administration, and the U.S. Department of Energy.