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Shaheen tours small businesses in advance of Small Business Saturday, visits New England Footwear to discuss New Hampshire manufacturing

(Nashua, NH) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) toured local small businesses in Nashua and Stratham on Monday as part of her efforts to promote New Hampshire small businesses, which represent 96 percent of Granite State employers. Shaheen toured Beckonings, Alec’s Shoes and Martha’s Exchange in Nashua and New England Footwear in Stratham. The trip comes in advance of Small Business Saturday, which will take place this Saturday, November 30 and is a national effort to encourage consumers to shop at small, local businesses the day after Black Friday.

“Small businesses are part of the New Hampshire way of life and support thousands of jobs throughout our communities,” Shaheen said. “When small businesses do well, New Hampshire does well and the holidays are a particularly important time to support our retail industry.

"Small Business Saturday specifically has great potential to make a positive impact on Granite State businesses and our economy, especially since small businesses represent 96 percent of Granite State employers.”

While touring New England Footwear in Stratham, Shaheen received a briefing on the company’s use of new technologies that have made its production process more efficient and less labor intensive.  The company has also received a grant from Green Launching Pad to help New England Footwear streamline its manufacturing process and reduce waste. Shaheen praised the cost-effective, innovative manufacturing processes and said it could serve as a model for manufacturers across the country.

Shaheen, who is a former small business owner and a member of the Senate Committee on Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship, has made supporting small companies and economic growth in New Hampshire a top priority. She has worked closely with the New Hampshire business community to advance policies that will benefit New Hampshire small businesses and has joined a national campaign coalition to promote job creation with a specific focus on the manufacturing industry. The Manufacturing Jobs for America legislative package includes two of Shaheen’s bipartisan proposals, the On-the-Job Training Act of 2013 and the Small Business Export Growth Act.

Shaheen has also won long-term reauthorization for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which is a program that allows more small, innovative businesses to compete for federal research and development programs.