Economy & Jobs

Senator Shaheen knows we need to continue to create jobs and lay the foundation for long-term economic growth. As a former small business owner, she understands that it is the private sector, not the government, which will create jobs that put people back to work and strengthen the economy. But she also knows that the government has an important role to play in creating the right atmosphere for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Senator Shaheen is committed to helping small businesses grow and create the jobs that will keep America competitive in the 21st century.

Small Business – The Job Creators in New Hampshire’s economy

Small business is the engine of New Hampshire’s economy—that’s why Senator Shaheen asked to serve on the Senate Small Business Committee. Small businesses make up 96 percent of the employers in the state and create two out of every three new jobs.

The last few years have been challenging for small businesses. Too many saw their markets shrink and their lines of credit disappear—all because of a global financial crisis they did not create. Senator Shaheen’s top priority has been ensuring that small businesses have the support they need to grow and create jobs.

Senator Shaheen has been an advocate for businesses throughout her career, sponsoring and supporting legislation to help small businesses in New Hampshire and U.S. economic growth.  As a member of the Small Business Committee, Senator Shaheen helped craft the landmark Small Business Jobs Act, which provided unprecedented support for our small businesses. She has worked to put credit into the hands of small businesses, help them grow by promoting exports, and reduce their health care costs. Senator Shaheen has also introduced bipartisan legislation with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MI), the On-the-Job Training Act, to  help Americans find and keep employment through proven on-the-job training (OJT) programs. 

To read more about Senator Shaheen’s small business agenda, click here.

Inspiring Innovation to Keep America Competitive

The future of the American economy lies in innovation. That’s why we need to create the right climate for companies and entrepreneurs to create the high-tech, 21st century jobs that will pay good wages and support the American middle class. Not surprisingly, New Hampshire is ahead of the curve – it is home to one of the most dynamic, innovative economies in the country.

Senator Shaheen has been a one of the lead Congressional advocates for policies that will tap into the innovative spirit of New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen sponsored legislation to re-authorize the Small Business Innovation Research program, which has helped hundreds of New Hampshire small businesses develop new ideas and turn them into commercial successes. She’s also a supporter of expanding the federal research and development tax credit and making it permanent.

Keeping America’s competitive edge in the global economy is one of Senator Shaheen’s top priorities. Jobs in the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – are projected to be the fastest growing occupations over the next decade.  Senator Shaheen has been a leader on STEM education efforts since her days as Governor and is a recognized leader by STEM Connector in their 100 Women in STEM publication.  She introduced the Innovation Inspiration School Grant Program to boost access to STEM education for students across America and foster innovation for a homegrown workforce.  Senator Shaheen also launched and is co-chair of the Senate STEM and Workforce Caucus that was formed to bring awareness to this important topic. 


Today 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside the United States, yet the vast majority of American businesses do not export their products or services and less than one percent of small businesses export.  Increasing exports is an effective way to spur growth, encourage investment, and create jobs in New Hampshire.

Senator Shaheen has been a leader in helping New Hampshire businesses sell their products and services to international markets and find new and expanded markets. She was the first New Hampshire Governor to lead a trade delegation outside of North America. As a Senator, Shaheen has undertaken several initiatives to connect businesses with federal resources that can enable exporting, such as the Export-Import Bank.

Shaheen has helped create the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant program to assist small businesses looking to take advantage of emerging global market places and has also introduced two pieces of legislation, the Small Business Export Growth Act and Go Global Act, focused on increasing exports for small businesses.  


Transitioning to clean, alternative energy is critical to both our national security and economy. The transition to alternative energy presents enormous opportunities. As a former member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and former Chairwoman of its Subcommittee on Water and Power, Senator Shaheen is committed to ensuring that America leads the way in building tomorrow's clean energy economy—creating millions of jobs and opportunity up and down the economic ladder. We cannot continue to export dollars for imported oil from hostile regions of the world. Instead, we must confront the global threat of climate change, and at the same time we must meet our rapidly growing energy needs. In the Senate, Shaheen is a leading voice for comprehensive energy legislation that provides the incentives and certainty businesses are looking for in order to invest in clean energy. 

Senator Shaheen also believes that it is essential to protect consumers from wild fluctuations in the price of gas and home heating oil caused by speculators on Wall Street.  Economists have confirmed that speculation is contributing as much as 20 percent of the price of a barrel of oil, which can lead to artificially high gas and home heating prices. Shaheen is working to stop increased speculation from putting an unnecessary burden on American families and businesses.

Investing in Transportation and Infrastructure to Fuel Commerce and Create Jobs

New Hampshire’s infrastructure is essential for its residents and businesses. We need good roads, bridges, railways, and airports to keep New Hampshire and the United States competitive in the coming decades. 

Senator Shaheen believes it is critical to provide New Hampshire with the support it needs to provide a safe, efficient, and reliable transportation infrastructure for our businesses and residents.  Senator Shaheen supported the passage of passed a long-term transportation bill that will fund federal highway and transit programs through 2014.  The long-term extension increases New Hampshire’s transit funding, which helps New Hampshire create jobs in the short-term and lay the groundwork for creating jobs in the future.

Wall Street Reform

Lax regulation and a culture of greed on Wall Street led to a financial meltdown that sent this country into a deep recession. In July 2009, Senator Shaheen voted to pass strong regulatory reform that will restore accountability to Wall Street and oversight to shadowy derivatives markets. She continues to make sure that the interests of Wall Street should not trump the needs of middle class families.