U.S. Rep. Allen West and Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos Engage Entrepreneurs at Florida Small Business Empowerment Forum
December 11, 2017
U.S. Representative Allen West (left) Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos (right)
FT. LAUDERDALE – U.S. Rep. Allen West and Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos stood before a packed crowd of local entrepreneurs and business leaders this morning at a Small Business Empowerment Forum jointly hosted by the Alliance for Affordable Services — the leadership organization that represents more than 80,000 members who are predominantly small business leaders nationwide — and Florida TaxWatch.
“I’ve heard over and over from our small businesses today that they face extreme obstacles,” said West, “including burdensome taxes, health care regulations, and a lack of access to capital — which is imperative for them to grow and expand their businesses. This event allowed me to hear firsthand the concerns of small business owners, insight that I will take with me to Capitol Hill.”
“I came this morning to connect with folks who are struggling both to make a living in this tough economy and to keep people working,” Haridopolos said. “The fact is, our state and our country are only going to get back on track if private sector starts growing again. Small business is the engine that will drive a real economic recovery.”
The dialogue — which lasted longer than an hour — covered a wide range of issues. Small business owners specifically cited high taxes, new government regulations on health care, and the lack of access to capital as major obstacles to getting new ventures off the ground and keeping current enterprises afloat. They asked West and Haridopolos to raise these issues both at the state and national level and to push for immediate solutions on roadblocks that are stalling a real recovery. Both officials agreed to work to address their concerns.
West added: “I encourage all of my fellow members in Congress to reach out to their local small business owners with forums such as this and I thank the Alliance for Affordable Services and Florida TaxWatch for making it happen here in South Florida. I will continue to listen to the voices of small business owners by attending and holding my own events like this. Small businesses are the economic engine of our nation’s economy.”
Haridopolos concluded: “The message this morning was loud and clear: We’ve got to clear the way and lower barriers to empower small businesses to do what they do best. I’m grateful to the Alliance for Affordable Services for their leadership – particularly in advocating for 1099 Repeal legislation that was recently signed into law at the federal level. I’m also grateful to Florida TaxWatch for their tireless work in providing first-rate research and education on policies that affect our economic vitality in the state.”
This forum was presented during National Small Business Week, which recognizes small businesses’ contributions to America’s economic well-being.