George Bald: Jeanne Shaheen put New Hampshire’s small business first
By: George Bald
To the editor: Exactly four years ago, the United States Senate considered a critical piece of legislation to help small businesses around the country get that help. The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010 was written to help small business hie new employees, invest in new equipment, and sell their products all across the globe. New Hampshire’s senior Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, voted to pass it, while then-Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown opposed it.
After passing both chambers of Congress, the bill became law, and since then many New Hampshire small businesses have benefited from the new programs it created. For example, there is a Windham based bakery that sells snack and treats made for people with allergies to peanuts, eggs, dairy or gluten. Thanks to the bill Senator Shaheen helped pass, the company has been able to take it’s products across the border to Canada and seel American made cookies and coffee cakes to international customers. Manufacturers have benefited as well. EPTAM Plastics from Northfield and Corfin Industries in Salem took advantage of new grants available through the State Trade Export Program (STEP) to help expand their businesses and create jobs. Without Shaheen’s vote for the Small Business Jobs Act, these two New Hampshire businesses wouldn’t have had the resources they needed to market their products at the world famous Farnborough International Air Show in England.
Most small businesses are not looking for a handout or free ride, they are just looking for a little help from their representatives in Congress so they can do what they do best, create jobs and build American products to be sold around the world. Scott Brown voted against this bill to help small business, but Jeanne Shaheen put New Hampshire’s small business first and built on her already strong record of supporting small businesses. As a member of the Small Business Committee, Shaheen not only helped write the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act, she also led the charge to reauthorize the Small Business Innovation Research Program that has provided more than $370 million in federal funding for New Hampshire small business.
Brown’s vote on the other hand was very disappointing. Small businesses are crucial to the Granite State’s economy. However, after refusing to support small business, Brown lost his seat in Massachusetts and soon after joined a company that shipped jobs to China and Mexico. I expect he is hoping his record won’t follow him across the border to New Hampshire.
On the campaign trail this year, Brown has repeatedly asked voters to compare his record with Senator Shaheen’s. This week, comparing their records is easy for New Hampshire small businesses. Sen. Shaheen voted yes, Brown voted no.
George Bald served as commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development from 1998-2004 and 2004-2012