WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06) joined colleagues in relaunching the bipartisan Entrepreneurship Caucus and reintroduced the Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act as its first policy initiative for the 117th Congress.
In addition to Rep. Schweikert, the Caucus will be co-chaired by Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL), Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH), Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Congressman French Hill (R-AR), and Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX) who are also original cosponsors of the legislation.
The Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act directs the Secretary of Commerce to identify and study the underlying economic causes of the “startup slump,” a decline in the number of entrepreneurs starting new ventures. Economic research shows the rate of startup launches in the United States has fallen to nearly a 40-year low in all 50 states, in 360 metropolitan areas, and across a broad range of industries.
“Entrepreneurs in Arizona are critical job creators who help build economic growth,” said Congressman Schweikert. “I am pleased to Co-Chair the Entrepreneurship Caucus again this Congress to work with my colleagues on bipartisan policies that support innovators across the nation. No startup should be faced with impossible barriers while helping better our communities and ultimately drive the local economy, which is why I will continue to work to ensure innovators are heard and accounted for through pro-growth legislation such as the Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act.”
“As a former entrepreneur myself, I understand the hardships for these businesses, especially in light of the current health crisis. The ‘startup slump’ is a real concern and something I have been working to overcome throughout my time in Congress,” said Rep. Hill. “My home state of Arkansas is fortunate to have several accelerators that are exclusively focused on supporting these local startups. Coupled with the work of the Entrepreneurship Caucus and the reintroduction of my legislation, I look forward to working with my following Caucus members to find long-term solutions that support our entrepreneurs, identify and address challenges they face, and remove barriers for startups.”
“As a former entrepreneur who knows what it takes to launch a new business, I know how difficult this pandemic has been for entrepreneurs trying to start new businesses and small business owners who are struggling to keep the doors open,” said Rep. Foster. “I am proud to be a member of the Entrepreneurship Caucus and a co-sponsor of the Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act. Congress needs to do its part to provide resources that will help spur the innovation and job growth that entrepreneurs bring to our communities. I’m proud to work with Congressman Hill and the rest of our colleagues in the Entrepreneurship Caucus to eliminate unnecessary barriers for start-ups.”
“As a former businesswoman, I’ve seen firsthand how American entrepreneurs develop innovative products, provide vital services, and create jobs across the country,” said Rep. Murphy. “At the same time, small businesses confront a range of challenges and we are seeing fewer new businesses being launched. I’m proud to resume our work on the Entrepreneurship Caucus with the introduction of this bipartisan bill, which will help us better understand the struggles startups face, so that we can work across the aisle to empower innovators as they power our economy.”
“Entrepreneurship and the new businesses that spring from it fuel our economy. I am honored to again be a part of the bipartisan Entrepreneurship Caucus because it will address the most pressing problems that entrepreneurs and new businesses face,” said Rep Marc Veasey. “As a former member of the Committee on Small Business, I know that the continued support of small businesses and entrepreneurs will help our nation lead in innovation and fuel our economic success.”
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” said Rep. Chabot. “As former Chair and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Small Business, I’ve witnessed firsthand the necessary pivots our small businesses have made since the COVID-19 pandemic began. I’ve visited 70 small businesses in my district to learn how they are coping and what additional resources they need to survive these challenging times. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Entrepreneurship Caucus to continue to support our nation’s small businesses and get them the help they need in a bipartisan fashion.”
“The re-introduction of the Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act, along with the re-launch of the House Entrepreneurship Caucus, are enormously important for American entrepreneurship – and for the U.S. economy and American workers,” said John Dearie, president of the Center for American Entrepreneurship. “In addition to its devastating toll in human lives, the Covid-19 pandemic has careened through the U.S. economy like a run-away bulldozer, destroying hundreds of thousands of new and small businesses and millions of jobs. Against that grim backdrop, accelerating the post-Covid recovery – the pace of economic growth and job creation – has emerged as America’s top economic policy priority. Recent research has demonstrated that new and small businesses are disproportionately responsible for the innovations that drive economic growth and job creation. But alarmingly, recent research has also shown that rates of new business formation have been in decline for four decades.
“The Enhancing Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century Act will charge the Secretary of Commerce with uncovering the likely causes of declining entrepreneurship. And the House Entrepreneurship Caucus will help ensure that entrepreneurs have the support from policymakers they need to deliver the economic growth, jobs, and opportunity the American people deserve. CAE applauds Reps. Hill, Foster, Chabot , Murphy, Schweikert, and Veasey for their leadership and looks forward to working with them,” said Dearie.
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