Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Listening to Small Businesses, in Cleveland and Across the Country

Well, Cleveland I think is a great example of cities all across the country, but especially in the Midwest, who are starting to reinvent themselves.  These are typically manufacturing cities.  They were built on the auto industry, on heavy manufacturing, steel.  And as manufacturing has become much more productive, fewer workers are in manufacturing -- even though manufacturing continues to contribute a lot to the economy -- and so these regions are having to think what’s going to be the businesses of the future that end up employing more people and providing more opportunity.  And small businesses are going to be the ones that I think are going to be making the biggest impact on regions like this one -- a lot of risk-takers, a lot of entrepreneurs here.

What we wanted to do is make sure that we listen to small businesses, hear from them, find out what kind of barriers they’re meeting -- whether it’s capital, or finding the right workforce, or how do they partner with larger companies.  And so far we've already gotten some terrific ideas. - CEA Chairman Austan Goolsbee
President Barack Obama attends the Entrepreneurship breakout session with SBA Administrator Karen Mills at the Winning the Future Forum on Small Business at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, February 22, 2011.
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