Posted on December 16, 2004
WASHINGTON-Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today applauded the efforts of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Hewlett Packard (HP) to match small business owners with government and corporate contractors at the 2005 Business Matchmaking kickoff in Nashville. "I applaud the SBA and Hewlett Packard for their commitment to empowering Tennessee's small businesses and bringing this important regional event to Nashville," said Frist. "Small businesses are the engine of the American marketplace, and by connecting them with large companies and government agencies we can ensure they continue generating tremendous economic power for Tennessee." "I appreciate the efforts of SBA and Hewlett Packard to provide greater business opportunities for the 460,000 small businesses operating in Tennessee," said Alexander. "Small businesses make up about 44 percent of our state's workforce. Senator Frist and I will continue to work with SBA Administrator Hector Barreto to ensure that we are providing outlets for job growth and greater prosperity for this vital part of Tennessee's economy." The Southern Regional Business Matchmaking event will be held in Nashville in March 2005. The Matchmaking initiative, a public-private partnership between SBA and the Hewlett Packard Small Business Foundation, will bring together some 1,000 Nashville-area small business owners with government entities and major corporations. The purpose of the program is to help the small businesses successfully compete for contracts from the federal government. Over the past year, this program has resulted in roughly $20 billion in government contracts for small businesses, and dramatically impacted opportunities for minority-owned, woman-owned, and veteran-owned small businesses. There are roughly 24 million small business owners in the United States, and an estimated 460,000 small businesses operating in Tennessee. Small firms with fewer than 500 workers employ about half of the non-farm, private sector workforce and are the largest job creators. In Tennessee, small businesses with fewer than 500 workers employ about 44 percent of the state's workforce.