Shaheen, Hulit visit small businesses in Amherst, Manchester to discuss challenges facing small businesses in New Hampshire

January 10, 2014

(Manchester, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted Acting Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Jeanne Hulit in New Hampshire today to meet with members of New Hampshire’s business community and to promote job creation.  This morning the two hosted a small business roundtable in Amherst at LaBelle Winery to discuss issues facing New Hampshire business owners, particularly women, and highlight the need to promote more women in business by helping them access SBA programs.

“Hearing from small businesses owners directly is critical for developing policies at the federal level that work here in New Hampshire,” Shaheen said. “Administrator Hulit’s visit provided a great opportunity for her to hear firsthand the challenges facing New Hampshire small businesses.”

“I am committed to doing everything I can to support small businesses in New Hampshire because they’re the job creators.  As this morning’s jobs report showed, we clearly have more to do to help get people back to work, and that will remain one of my top priorities,” Shaheen added.

Hulit said, “At the U.S. Small Business Administration we work every day to help carry out President Obama’s mission to make sure small businesses in New Hampshire and around the country can grow and create jobs. We all know that entrepreneurs and small business owners are the backbone of our economy and the foundation of our middle class. That’s why visiting small businesses—and hearing from them about their successes and challenges—is so critical as we work to make sure they have the tools and resources they need.  At today’s events with Senator Shaheen we gained valuable insights, particularly about the issues and opportunities for women small business owners. I want to thank the small business community in New Hampshire for sharing their thoughts about how we can make sure small business owners and entrepreneurs can achieve their dreams.”

Shaheen and Hulit also toured Ion Beam Milling in Manchester where they were briefed on the company’s history, its products, and how an SBA supported loan helped the company expand and grow. Ion Beam Milling took advantage of SBA’s 504 lending program, which provides long-term fixed rate financing to help businesses buy new equipment and real estate related to expanding and growing the business.  In FY 2013, SBA supported nearly 500 loans for a total of $144 million dollars in New Hampshire.

Shaheen has made supporting small businesses in New Hampshire a priority of hers in the Senate. Last year, she introduced the bipartisan Small Business Export Growth Act  to help small businesses capitalize on export opportunities by removing red tape and improving federal export assistance programs for small businesses. Exports of New Hampshire products totaled nearly $3.5 billion in 2012, providing a critical boost to many local businesses. Shaheen also helped craft the landmark Small Business Jobs Act which provided unprecedented support for small businesses. The bill cut taxes by billions for small businesses and made it easier for small companies to expand into overseas markets. Last year, the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee also passed Shaheen’s bipartisan legislation to permanently reauthorize the SBA 504 refinance program which helps small companies refinance their mortgages and lock in low interest rates.  Shaheen has also championed the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) grant and the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.