For the first time in years, economic indicators are signaling better times ahead for small businesses. This would be good news anytime, but it’s especially gratifying now, during National Small Business Week, when the country is focusing on the American entrepreneur and the work they do all year to fortify our economy.
Small business optimism is at its highest level since 2008, according to the most recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, and the latest jobs report shows unemployment fell last month to its lowest level since 2008, as well. These reports are promising, but there’s still more that can be done to continue building economic momentum.
Energy is a hot topic right now, and much of the debate is centered on clean energy policies’ impact on small businesses and their bottom lines. Some claim stronger energy standards will kill jobs and hurt entrepreneurs. But in a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed out clean energy standards and business success can go hand-in-hand. He called on his fellow lawmakers to pass legislation that “creates jobs, saves money and puts our country on the track to energy independence.”
The bill Reid was referring to is the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. For those who aren’t already familiar with this bill, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, co-authored bipartisan legislation with New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, that would cut energy costs, enhance energy security and reduce emissions. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, nicknamed the Shaheen-Portman bill, would also provide rebates and training to encourage people to be more energy efficient, promote manufacturing and supply chain efficiency and require the federal government to be more efficient.