March 10, 2009

Senator Gillibrand Lays Out Agenda to Strengthen Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Addresses Latina Leaders at U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Legislative Conference

Washington, D.C. - Addressing leaders of the Latina community at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today talked about the importance of supporting the growth of women and minority-owned businesses and making key investments to drive economic development for the long term. 

Nationwide, there are more than three million Hispanic-owned businesses.  Before the economic downturn, these businesses were growing three times faster than other businesses.

"As a woman and a working-mother, I recognize that America's economic recovery will, in part, rest on our ability to unlock the economic potential of women and minority entrepreneurs," Senator Gillibrand said.  "If we can promote the talent of women and minority business leaders and foster the success of a new generation of entrepreneurs, then America's economy will be stronger than ever."

In her address to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Senator Gillibrand outlined key initiatives as part of a comprehensive effort to strengthen New York's economy:

Access to Credit

  • New York is the financial capital of the world. But for businesses to continue to grow and to get our economy back on track, we need to ensure access to credit. That's why Senator Gillibrand is working closely with the Obama Administration, top business leaders, as well as Senator Schumer and the Senate Banking Committee to get credit flowing at reasonable costs to stimulate and strengthen the economy.

Affordable Health Care

  • More than 45 million Americans don't have access to health care. And the rising costs of care pose an increasing burden on businesses - slowing growth and crushing entrepreneurial efforts. That's why Senator Gillibrand is committed to comprehensive health system reform to ensure access for every man, woman and child and to reduce the burden of health care for small businesses. She also touted recent investments in health care information technology to lower costs, reduce medical errors and improve quality over the long term.

  • Last month, Senator Gillibrand voted to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to provide care for 11 million low and middle children. While in the House of Representatives, Senator Gillibrand voted seven times to reauthorize the CHIP program.

Investing in Education

  • To give our kids the education they need to prepare for the economy of the future, Senator Gillibrand is committed to stop the unfunded mandates and either fix or fully fund No Child Left Behind, or discontinue it.

  • Senator Gillibrand is also committed to equipping workers and entrepreneurs with the training and resources they need to update their skills and succeed in the economy of the future.

  • And to give English language training to workers who would not otherwise have the opportunity, Senator Gillibrand is crafting legislation that gives tax incentives to companies who provide English-as-a-second-language programs for their employees, making sure all businesses have the resources they need to be competitive.

Affordable Housing

  • We need to keep families in their homes and reduce the number of foreclosures to strengthen and stabilize our economy. That's why Senator Gillibrand is working to bring borrowers and lenders together to renegotiate mortgages with payment plans they can actually afford, keep families in their homes and make housing affordable for families in need of a home.

Fair Pay for All Employees

  • Senator Gillibrand believes equal pay for women will result in economic growth for everyone. That's why she plans to help lead the effort in the Senate to pass the "Paycheck Fairness Act," legislation she co-sponsored and was a strong advocate for while in the House of Representatives.

Contract Procurement

  • Senator Gillibrand is committed to implementing federal procurement processes that foster the growth of woman and minority-owned businesses to reflect the enormous contributions these businesses make to our economy.

Immigration Reform

  • There are 15 million undocumented workers currently in America - an issue that we have for too long delayed reform. Senator Gillibrand is committed to reforming America's immigration system in a way that recognizes the important role all immigrants play in our economic prosperity, strengthens our national security, and ensures a bright economic future.