Op-Eds

La Presna de San Antonio: Keep America Going with Small Business

SAN ANTONIO, October 16, 2014 | Rafael Benavides ((956) 725-0639)
We’ve heard it before; small business is the backbone of America. We are still the midst of a recovery from the worst economy in history since the Great Depression and we now depend more than ever on the creativity and innovation of people from all sectors to help the United States restore its reputation in having the best economy in the world. That can only happen if we help existing small business owners and make it easier for aspiring entrepreneurs to open up shop.

Eleven million jobs were supported by trade in the United States in 2013. In Texas, a total of 40,737 companies were dependent on exports -- 93 percent of which were small businesses with 500 or fewer employees. Small business created and sustains a modern and vibrant Texas.

As a former small business owner, I know the feeling one gets when you have a great idea for a service or a product. With the right drive, planning and support, you may be able to turn a small investment into something grand and fulfill your own American dream.

The federal government should do all it can to facilitate business startup and expansion, not stifle it with red tape and bureaucracy. America was founded on the dreams of people who had limited funds, but great visions. That is why I support small business owners and advocate for fair and useful tax breaks to help owners become established. It’s no secret that when business thrives, so do our communities.

You don’t have to look far to see successful small businesses in action. Across South Texas, border towns whose main source of income came from both American and Mexican tourists are now major players in global trade. Here in San Antonio, ambitious entrepreneurs, as well as great planning in local government and important legislation from the federal government, have helped change not only the landscape, but have also greatly increased the amount of opportunities in the Alamo City.

Perhaps the most notable economic change in South Texas has been the economic blessing we’ve received with the advancements in the oil and gas industry.

Developing the oil and gas industry has been extremely beneficial to citizens in my district and beyond. Restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, homes and apartments, schools and many other necessary projects have now been constructed in these communities that were hit hard by the economic recession. People are migrating to San Antonio and all across South Texas to find good-paying jobs that will last for years. These new families will bring prosperity and much-welcomed economic impact to our area.

Don’t be afraid to dream big. Remember that Dell, Apple and Microsoft were all started in a garage. We need to have policies in place that encourage the next big idea that changes the world.

I recently received the Spirit of Enterprise award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce due to my support to the business community in Congress. I have been received this award eight times since 2005 and was one of only seven Democratic U.S. House of Representatives members, and the only Texas Democrat, to receive the 2013 award.

I will continue to support small businesses because I truly believe they are the driving force behind our robust and competitive economy.

If you are thinking of opening up your own small business or have already down so, you can accesses helpful resources for your business on my Web site, /constituentservices/grants/


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