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Take time for local on Small Business Saturday

11/20/2013

In his Thanksgiving proclamation, President Washington began with the following words:

In his Thanksgiving proclamation, President Washington began with the following words:

"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor."

This week, we should stop and give thanks to God for the many blessings we enjoy as Americans. I am thankful that despite the policy failings in Washington, we still live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth.

After gathering with family and friends to celebrate traditions, make memories, and give Thanks this week, your mind may shift to Christmas shopping. As you do, I want to call attention to key members of the small towns we call home - our small businesses. Not only do small business owners create jobs across the First District, but they are often our community leaders and our little league coaches as well.

Most small businesses employ fewer than 10 people. Many small business owners do their books late at night at the kitchen table after their kids have gone to sleep. They do not have an army of lawyers, accountants, and lobbyists to keep up with all of the changing rules and regulations coming out of Washington.

And far too often, Washington is more interested in what happens on Wall Street - rather than Main Street. And that is just backwards. Small businesses account for about half of the total economic activity in America. They create nearly two out of every three new jobs. They have historically led our nation back from recession. Strengthening our small businesses is vitally important to get our economy moving forward and putting millions of Americans back to work, many of whom have given up on finding a full time job.

As a member of the Small Business Committee, that's why I am sponsoring a bipartisan resolution in Congress to call attention to the importance of small businesses in our communities. It would denote the Saturday after Thanksgiving as "Small Business Saturday." It is only a symbolic measure, but it would serve as a reminder as to how important our small businesses are to our nation.

I also encourage you to join me in doing something more than symbolic. After giving Thanks on Thursday, please join me in shopping at a small business this Small Business Saturday. These businesses, their owners and employees, are the backbone of our American economy. Not big businesses. Not special interest lobbyists. And certainly not Washington.

May God bless and protect you, your family and our entire nation - both on Small Business Saturday -and the entire year.

Congressman Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., represents the First District of Kansas in the U.S. House of Representatives.