Local economic development officer meets with national development teams

Published June 7, 2011 in Herald-Standard

Mike Krajovic, president and chief executive officer of the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council, participated in a meeting Thursday with several White House economic advisers.

The meeting was organized by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), a leader in providing at new voice of business in Washington and around the country.

?ASBC met with the representatives from the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness (Jobs Council), President’s Council of Economic Advisers, National Economic Council, Department of Labor, Department of Treasury, Office of Public Engagement, and Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“We encouraged greater government support to build local capacity to make communities across the country as self-reliant as possible by becoming more economically and environmentally sustainable,” Krajovic said.

He added that tremendous job opportunities currently exist in the manufacturing sector but are going unfilled because of a national shortage of skill workers.

“More needs to be done to encourage high school students to pursue technical careers,” Krajovic said.

Regarding local agriculture, Krajovic said that there is a need for new agricultural financing programs to assist new local farm businesses to support the growth in consumer demand for locally grown food.

The ASBC members presented their ideas and opportunities to help drive a new economy and put Americans back to work.

Positions on issues included: Small business access to capital; realistic tax policy; manufacturing in America; energy; health care; and opportunity to grow businesses while growing goods and services that meet the needs of communities and the environment.

This engagement was in response to their interests not being represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or the National Federation of Independent Business, an ASBC spokesman said.

“ASBC represents over 100,000 businesses and more than 200,000 entrepreneurs, owners, executives, investors and business professionals committed to advancing a new vision and policies that build a vibrant, equitable, and sustainable economy, supporting the administration and Congress to rebuild the economy,” said David Levine, ASBC co-founder and executive director.

“A key issue discussed during the meeting was guaranteeing small businesses access to affordable capital,” said Frank Knapp with the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

“Boosting local economies by helping small businesses create jobs is a high priority.”

“One of the fastest growing business sectors is the organic industry, which has remained in positive growth territory, coming out of the recession, hiring employees, adding farmers, and increasing revenue, to a record $29 billion industry in 2010,” said Christine Bushway, executive director/chief executive officer of the Organic Trade Association.

Connie Evans, CEO of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, said, “If the economy is going to bounce back, it must happen on Main Street. Micro, or very small business, represent more than 80 percent of all businesses in the U.S.

“If just one-third of all micro businesses hired one employee, the U.S. would be at full employment.”

Krajovic added, “More and more businesses are understanding the link between economic and environmental sustainability and what it means to being a social responsible business.

“Many local chambers and the small business owners they represent are becoming fed up with their voice not being heard in Washington.”

Original Article: http://www.heraldstandard.com/article_0c57a202-3822-518a-950a-978270348793.html?TNNoMobile

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