President Barack Obama’s White House jobs summit generally excluded small business groups. Bill Smith is state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and he says while the president has recognized the need for jobs creation, it’s disappointing that small business groups were not at the summit. “Given the fact that small business actually is the job creator, it’s created two thirds of the net new jobs in the United States over the last 35 years, so it seems just a bit of an oversight not to have the small business community at the table,” says Smith.
Still, Smith says the White House has acknowledged that small business is the backbone of the nation’s economy. “We expect going forward that NFIB and others will, hopefully, continue to work with the White House and work with the Congress on positive policy changes that will truly create jobs.” The NFIB has released its own set of five recommendations to spur job growth. Those include recognizing the problem which Smith says remains the biggest concern for small business operators: lack of demand which is reflected in poor sales. “The Small Business Optimism Index has upticked just a bit,” he notes. “It’s still very low. Small business owners are still not investing in inventories. They’re still not hiring to any significant degree. We need to get consumers spending money on main street, in their local small businesses, to get this economy rolling again.”
Bob Hague (:60) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3)