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Haslam Announces Small Business Initiative: Small Business Works

Press Release from Bill Haslam for Governor, March 17, 2010:

Identifies Small Businesses as the Driving Force for Tennessee’s Economy

JACKSON – Republican gubernatorial candidate Mayor Bill Haslam announced during a Jobs Tour meeting today with local small business owners a plan to focus on small business growth as a key component of his effort to make Tennessee the No. 1 state in the Southeast for high quality jobs.

As governor, Haslam will launch Small Business Works, an initiative to promote entrepreneurship and job growth by working with small business owners to create the best possible environment for starting or growing a business while enhancing the state’s efforts to provide useful, timely information and guidance to anyone seeking to start a business in Tennessee.

“I will have no higher priority as your governor than fostering the creation of high quality jobs in our state,” Haslam said. “The reality is two-thirds of the new jobs in this country are created by small businesses. If we want our state to be a leader in job creation, we need to embrace and cultivate small business ownership.

“From the beginning of this campaign, we’ve been meeting with small business owners, hearing their concerns, and discussing what the state could be doing better to help small businesses create jobs. As governor, listening to and addressing the needs of small business will be a key part of our economic development efforts.”

Mayor Haslam is spending Week Two of his three-week, statewide Jobs Tour in West Tennessee, and today is being spent in Jackson, Trenton, Humboldt, and Bells leading small business roundtables, touring local businesses, and meeting with economic development professionals.

“What I hear all the time, and especially on this Jobs Tour, is that government shouldn’t be a hindrance. It can’t over regulate and taxes must be kept low,” Haslam continued. “The state should make sure the necessary information and resources for starting a business are readily available, and it should provide high quality customer service to anyone who has questions or needs help with the process.”

The Small Business Works campaign will include a number of new initiatives and enhanced efforts to support small businesses, which will be rolled out over the coming weeks and months. The goal is to make sure there is no better place in the country to start or grow a business than Tennessee.

“There are many great reasons to do business in Tennessee,” Haslam said. “We have no state income tax, each region has unique assets on which we can build, and our beautiful landscape provides a high quality of life for Tennesseans. We’re also a right-to-work state, and our labor force is made up of honest, hard-working individuals,” Haslam continued. “But the fact of the matter is the next governor will have to be aggressive in the effort to create jobs. This will require a laser-like focus on the needs of small business.”

”The current administration has done a good job hitting home runs by bringing in large investments like Hemlock, Volkswagen, and Wacker,” Haslam continued. “But if we truly want to be a leader in job creation, we’ve got to focus on the singles, doubles, and triples that homegrown small businesses create for us as well.”

Bill Haslam is the two-term Mayor of Knoxville, re-elected in 2007 with 87% of the vote. A hardworking, conservative public servant, he led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city’s debt, tripling the rainy day fund, and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years. An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family’s small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee’s largest companies with 14,000 employees. His combination of executive and public service experience makes him uniquely qualified to be Tennessee’s next Governor. Bill is the right person at the right time to lead Tennessee.

Bill and Crissy Haslam have two daughters, Annie and Leigh, and a son, Will, who resides in Knoxville with his wife, Hannah.

For more information on Bill Haslam, please visit www.BillHaslam.com. To follow Mayor Haslam on his Jobs Tour and submit ideas for how to grow our state’s economy, please visit www.Jobs4TN.com.