Velazquez Hosts Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce On Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Chair of the House Small Business Committee, hosted the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce for their annual trip to Washington, DC to discuss the current legislative agenda, and how it impacts small businesses throughout Brooklyn.
“Small businesses are the backbone of New York City’s economy, but they face many challenges, given the current business climate,” Congresswoman Velázquez said. “From advocating for small business access to healthcare to supporting comprehensive development initiatives in Brooklyn, the Chamber of Commerce’s leadership has been integral to the ongoing success and economic progress of our neighborhoods, and I look forward to meeting with them every year to ensure our City’s entrepreneurs have the tools they need to succeed.”
New York City’s small businesses are vital to the state economy. Entrepreneurs make up most of the employer firms statewide with an estimated total of 1,891,900 businesses, 164,195 of which call Brooklyn home. This year, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s legislative agenda includes the increased cost of healthcare, small business tax issues, and energy costs—all priorities of Chairwoman Velazquez and the House Small Business Committee.
“Our partnerships with our legislators are important to the life and growth of our small businesses especially in a place like Brooklyn where more than the majority of businesses are truly small businesses with less than 20 employees” said Mark M. Kessler, Interim President/ Chief Operating Officer of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “Over the years Congresswoman Velazquez has been, and, to this day remains, an ally to the small business owner. This annual meeting with the Congresswoman gives Brooklyn Chamber Members the faith that we have a champion for small business causes from health insurance to taxation.”
During the discussion, the Chairwoman relayed a number of the issues that the House Small Business Committee has been working on since the start of the 110th Congress. Several bills have already passed the House to increase access to affordable capital, reform the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program, and open up the $340 billion federal marketplace to small firms in New York and nationwide. The committee has also conducted a number of hearings on issues of importance to small businesses in Brooklyn. From finding a solution for the rising cost of healthcare, to ensuring small business needs are considered as changes are being made to the patent system and as immigration reform moves through Congress, the House Small Business Committee has been working to ensure that small business concerns are accounted for.
“Today's meeting was very productive, allowing Brooklyn businesses to voice their concerns and to relay the needs of the local business community,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. “Our annual collaborations are invaluable as they allow me an opportunity to work with local leaders to promote small business growth and protect the working families of Brooklyn.”
Congresswoman Velázquez has met with members of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce annually for over a decade to discuss economic development and other local issues for Brooklyn businesses.