SHAHEEN HOSTS NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS LEADER TO PROMOTE WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

At Senate Small Business Committee Hearing, President & CFO of Portsmouth’s Absolute Resource Associates discusses ways to promote female entrepreneurship, endorses Shaheen legislation to grow women-owned small businesses

July 23, 2014

(Washington, DC) – This afternoon, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted Susan Sylvester, President & CFO of Portsmouth’s Absolute Resource Associates at a Senate Small Business Committee hearing to discuss policies to promote female entrepreneurship and small business job creation. Sylvester, who has grown her business with the help of small business contracts with the federal government, also endorsed Shaheen’s legislation, the Women’s Small Business Procurement Parity Act at this afternoon’s hearing. That bill would provide tools available under other contracting programs to help federal agencies meet the goal of awarding 5 percent of all federal contracts to women-owned small businesses (WOSBs).    

“Women continue to make great strides in our economy, but they still only represent about 30 percent of small business owners,” said Shaheen. “That must change.”

“It was great to host Sue this afternoon so she could share her valuable insight as a successful small business owner. Now we must act so that other women can replicate her experiences and success as an entrepreneur.” 

Shaheen continued, “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in New Hampshire. Over 96 percent of employers in New Hampshire are small businesses, and two out of every three jobs are created by small business in the United States. So if we can help small businesses grow, we can help create jobs and grow the economy.”

“Our company, Absolute Resource Associates, has a long and successful relationship with the SBA, a relationship which began the day we bought the company back in 2000,” said Susan Sylvester, President & CFO of Portsmouth’s Absolute Resource Associates. “Without these programs, our company would not have had the ability to do the good work we do and create the 15 jobs we have created, so far. I support efforts to enhance the WOSB program by putting it on par with other contracting programs, including Senator Shaheen's Women's Small Business Contracting Parity Act.”

Absolute Resource Associates has also participated in the SBA 7j training programs and has benefited from its designation as an Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). The company has tripled in size since 2000, now employing 22 people.

Earlier this year, Shaheen held a roundtable in Lebanon to discuss efforts to encourage female entrepreneurship and small business growth. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Shaheen has made supporting small businesses in New Hampshire a top priority while also promoting efforts to increase the number of women business owners.