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Bond proposes small-business advocacy measures in Senate

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by Bryan Smith

SBJ Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON Missouri Sen. Christopher Bond has proposed legislation to address the concerns of small business in government so owners can concentrate on their day-to-day operations.

"Since small businesses generally do not have the resources to maintain full-time representatives to lobby our federal government, the National Conference on Small Business will give this important business group an opportunity to make its mark on the Congress and the executive branch," Bond said.

As a result, Bond, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business, introduced a bill May 24 calling for a conference to focus on the needs of small businesses across the nation.

The bill, called the National Conference on Small Business Act, would establish a forum to focus national attention on the problems that are hindering the creation and growth of businesses in America.

"Typical small business owners are too busy running their businesses to devote much attention to educating government officials as to what is going well, what is going poorly and what needs improvement," Bond said. "The National Conference on Small Business Act is designed to help fill that void by capturing and focusing our attention on the small-business community every four years."

Bond's bill, introduced on the first day of Small Business Week, would create an independent, bipartisan National Commission on Small Business, comprising eight small business advocates and the U.S. Small Business Administration's chief counsel for advocacy.

Every four years, during the first year following a presidential election, the president would name two national commissioners, as well as a delegate and alternate from each state.

Each senator and governor would name a small-business delegate and alternate from their states. Representatives also would name a delegate and an alternate from his or her congressional district.

Bond said the proposed conference is designed for people who either own their own businesses or are planning to start one soon.

"Small business ownership is, has been and will continue to be the dream of millions of Americans," Bond said.

The bill would also establish a permanent, independent commission to carry on work begun by the White House Conferences on Small Business. Those conferences, held in 1980 and 1986, propagated legislation on topics such as equal access to justice and the Minority Business Opportunity Reform Acts.[[In-content Ad]]

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