Merkley: Small Business Job Creation Tops Senate Priority List

Portland, OR – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley held a press conference call Thursday to push for the quick passage of legislation designed to help small businesses expand and create jobs.   Merkley was joined on the call by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Jose Gonzalez, owner of Tu Casa Real Estate in Salem, Oregon.  Gonzalez is also the founder of the Latino Business Alliance of the Willamette Valley and an active leader with the Oregon Small Business Council.

The Small Business Jobs Act, which the Senate will vote on next week, includes a Small Business Lending Fund that incorporates the Bank on Our Communities Act that Senator Merkley and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced last year.

“Many of America’s small businesses are ready and willing to create jobs, but they lack access to the capital they need to expand,” Merkley said.  “The Small Business Jobs Act will help small business owners get the credit they need to grow as well as timely and targeted tax relief.  If job creation is a priority – and I believe ever senator agrees that it is – the Senate needs to pass this bill next Tuesday.”

“I know a lot of local business owners through my own business and through my associations,” said Jose Gonzalez.  “Of the businesses I know that remain standing, I would say more than half want to expand on an idea or a niche they found in the last year or two. It’s having access to capital and financing that will help them grow. The opportunity is there right now, they just can’t take advantage of it because they’re struggling to get a loan. I hope this proposal to expand lending to small businesses through community banks will win broad support on all sides of the aisle.”