Restoring U.S. Competitiveness

OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE>Contact: Jennifer Meyer, 571-408-0238December 8, 2011

The Center for Public Policy Innovation Hosts Small Business Public Policy Forum on Restoring U.S. Competitiveness

Panelists See Small Business Growth and Innovation as Vital to Nation’s Economic Recovery; Competitive Edge

Washington, DC – The Center for Public Policy Innovation (CPPI), a nonprofit educational think tank, today hosted a Small Business Public Policy Forum entitled “Restoring U.S. Competitiveness: Creating Jobs and Unleashing the Potential of Small Businesses Through Technology and Innovation” on Capitol Hill. During the event, which was co-sponsored by the Digital Dialogue Forum (DDF) with support from Dell Inc., Qualcomm and Intuit, a panel of leading industry, academic, and government stakeholders addressed some of the most pressing policy and regulatory challenges impacting the nation’s start-ups and other small businesses, which are vital to creating jobs, restoring the nation’s economic competitiveness, and driving U.S. technological innovation.

“Just last week, the Senate unanimously voted in favor of one of the most coveted public-private partnerships for small business innovation in America. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs allow small businesses to compete for a portion of federal research dollars to help the nation’s research and development efforts. However, this is just one example of Congress’ dedication to small business innovation. To continue to thrive as a nation, we must keep these programs alive and look for other ways to spark the creative small business minds that keep our nation on the forefront of defense technology and scientific innovation. I am pleased CPPI put together this program, and I appreciate having the opportunity to discuss America’s entrepreneurial potential at the event,” said U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, who made remarks at today’s forum.

“According to statistics, small businesses create 70 percent of the jobs in America, and technological innovation is responsible for 85 percent of our growth in per capita income. Put the two together, and you can see why unleashing the power of small business through technological innovation is the one of the most effective things we can do to bolster our economy, create jobs, improve our competitiveness, and keep the American Dream alive for the next generation. This panel provided a great opportunity to discuss what policies are needed to accomplish these goals and what we can do to execute them. I’m proud to be a part of this event, and I look forward to a great discussion,” said U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), vice chair of the House Republican Conference, who also spoke at today’s forum.

Small businesses have an enormous impact on our nation’s economic competitiveness and recovery by spurring job growth and international trade, creating new industries, and driving innovation in today’s global marketplace. According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ about half of all U.S. workers and have accounted for nearly two out of every three of the net new jobs created between 1993 and 2009. Unfortunately, however, many small businesses today are unaware that 67 percent of purchasing power comes from outside the United States, thereby preventing them from expanding operations into growing foreign markets.

“Job creation has rightfully dominated most conversations of late. In collaboration with CPPI, we’d like to foster a dialogue around the precursor to job creation and what I find to be top of mind for the CEOs I meet with – access to capital and the growth it helps fuel,” said Steve Felice, president of Dell Consumer, Small and Medium Business who moderated today’s panel discussion.

“Startups and small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. They are responsible for the vast majority of all new jobs created in the United States; they are the nation’s greatest source of innovation; and they are critical to helping restore U.S. competitiveness,” CPPI President and CEO Chris Long said. “By holding today’s event and others in our ongoing series of forums, CPPI is shaping the ongoing public debate on policies and programs that are needed to make a measurable impact on American global competitiveness.”

Today’s panel was comprised of leading experts in private industry, government, and academia, including Scott Case, CEO of the Startup America Partnership, previously the Founding CTO of Priceline.com; Sean Greene, Associate Administrator for Investment and Special Advisor for Innovation at the Small Business Administration; and Jonathan Ortmans, President, Global Entrepreneurship Week & Senior Fellow at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The panel discussion focused on small businesses’ impact on American innovation and job creation, and the many policy and regulatory challenges faced by small businesses. Other topics that were discussed include the lack of access to capital, the role of international trade in spurring U.S. small business growth, the impact of cloud computing and mobile platforms on small businesses, encouraging small businesses to embrace cyber security and other new technologies, and the federal government’s role in supporting small businesses.

CPPI’s public policy forum was the second event in a series of programs that CPPI and DDF will hold over the course of the next year to spotlight policy issues affecting the global competitiveness of American businesses. The series will foster collaboration between government and industry, shape the public debate on the proper role of government in promoting innovation, and seek consensus to address these challenges in the future.

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About the Center for Public Policy Innovation
The Center for Public Policy Innovation (CPPI) is a 501(c)(3) not for profit educational think tank that aims to assist government officials in addressing the many challenging issues brought on by the rapid advancement of Information Technology. CPPI provides policymakers with thought leadership, informed policy analysis, and innovative strategies to help ensure American competitiveness in the global economy and comprehensive security on the home front. CPPI convenes educational symposiums, site visits, and other forums that bring together stakeholders from government, industry, academia, and the civic sector to discuss policy issues in a collaborative environment.

About the Digital Dialogue Forum
Founded in 1998, the Digital Dialogue Forum (DDF) is a non-partisan public policy coalition comprised of world-leading technology companies. Its mission is to enhance U.S. innovation and global competitiveness through high level dialogue between business and government leaders. For more information, visit DDF at www.digitaldialogueforum.com.