COSTELLO OP-ED: Pennsylvania’s Innovative Small Businesses Are Community Leaders
Each day, 75 million Americans go to work at small businesses across the country. In Pennsylvania’s Sixth Congressional District, people working at small businesses brew our morning coffee, develop innovative medical technologies, sell our favorite records, maintain construction equipment used to work on our roads, and are veterans who have served our country. These small businesses hire skilled workforces who are at the forefront of developing solutions for Pennsylvania and the nation. This week, during Small Business Week, we should recognize the contributions made by small business owners and employees to our communities in Pennsylvania.
In Montgomery County, small businesses are working for the good of the community while creating jobs. I had the opportunity to visit VideoRay’s headquarters in Pottstown, where their 5,000-gallon test tank demos their Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles that protect our infrastructure and help combat terrorism. In Phoenixville, Stable 12 Brewing Co.’s opening was another example of the downtown renaissance. This local company not only creates jobs, but it also adds to the cultural vibrancy of Phoenixville.
It is clear small business owners and employees help improve our communities, which is why it is important Congress removes barriers and streamlines processes for entrepreneurs where it can. I have supported several pieces of legislation with that goal. Last week, I voted for the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act, which assists entrepreneurs in accessing angel investors, who provide critical financing for start-up businesses. Pennsylvanians are full of forward-thinking ideas, and the HALOS Act is one way Congress can help simplify the process of turning an idea into reality. By revising a regulation that is burdensome for startups, this legislation ensures growing companies can access the capital they need to create jobs.
Not all small businesses have storefronts, but it is important small farmers and agricultural producers have the opportunity to succeed. The Small Agriculture Producer Size Standards Improvements Act provides the Small Business Administration (SBA) with the power to amend the size standards in order for these small farms and agricultural producers to receive SBA assistance.
I have also taken actions to assist veterans who want to start a new business. Through my seat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee and the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee, I have seen how veterans’ needs and small business needs intersect, which is why I supported bipartisan legislation to benefit veterans who want to start a small business. The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act waives the upfront fee for a Small Business Administration 7(a) loan, making it easier for veterans to access the tools they need to grow a new business. The Small and Disadvantaged Business Enhancement Act helps service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses compete for federal contracts. Over 40,000 veterans call Pennsylvania’s Sixth District home, making these bills significant to our community.
I am committed to doing everything I can in Congress to support the nearly one million small businesses in Pennsylvania because local entrepreneurs and small business employees are a vital part of our culture, economy, and future.
Rep. Ryan Costello is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which includes parts of Montgomery, Berks, Chester and Lebanon counties.