Lincoln Campaign Forms “Small Business Owners for Blanche Team”

Little Rock – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln today announced the launch of the “Small Business Owners for Blanche Team,” a group of Arkansas voters who support the Senator’s commitment to our small businesses, the economic engines of our local communities and number one source of jobs in our state.

“Throughout my career in the United States Senate, I have made Arkansas’s small businesses a top priority,” Senator Lincoln said.  “Our families and our communities across the state depend upon the stability these businesses provide.  I will continue to push for initiatives that give our small business owners and self-employed individuals the tools they need to invest and expand.”

Arkansas’s nearly 250,000 small businesses and self-employed individuals make significant contributions to the state’s economy and generated $7.2 billion in 2008.  Small employers account for 97 percent of employers in our state.

Senator Lincoln has made Arkansas’s small businesses a top priority and has utilized her seat on the Senate Finance Committee to shape legislation that provides them the tools they need to invest and expand.

In May of 2009, Senator Lincoln introduced her “Arkansas Plan,” a series of initiatives aimed at helping Arkansas’s small businesses get ahead and emerge from the economic crisis stronger and more competitive.  Her plan will create new jobs and cut our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, and reducing the burden on small businesses by simplifying the tax code.

In every Congress since 2004, Senator Lincoln has introduced legislation to help small businesses afford quality health coverage for themselves, their employees, and their families. Senator Lincoln’s bipartisan SHOP Act (Small business Health Options Program) has garnered a wide range of support from NFIB, SEIU, and the National Association of Realtors, to name a few.

Senator Lincoln’s ideas to help small businesses afford quality health care are now at the center of the health insurance reform debate in Washington.

For her work on behalf of small businesses and her pro-business record in the U.S. Senate, Senator Lincoln has been a seven-time recipient of the U.S. Chamber’s prestigious “Spirit of Enterprise” award, most recently receiving the honor in 2009.

As her record clearly shows, Senator Lincoln has been a fierce advocate for Arkansas’s small businesses. She knows that small business is the engine of Arkansas’s economy and is committed to ensuring they have the tools they need to prosper, grow and create more jobs.

Senator Lincoln encourages Arkansans to join the Small Business Owners for Blanche Team today to stand together on behalf of our Arkansas values of honesty, hard work, faith and independence.

Small Business Owners for Blanche Team members include the following Arkansans:

Millie Baron, owner of Ambrosia Bakery of Hot Springs, said “Senator Lincoln knows that small businesses are critical to the stability of our communities and families, and because of her perspective, I trust her judgment to continue to represent us in Washington.”

Dow Brantley, owner of Brantley Farming Co. of England, said, “No one understands the importance of agriculture to Arkansas better than Senator Lincoln.  As a farmer’s daughter, she knows the challenges our farm families face, as well as the stability we provide to communities across the state.  It’s good to know that one of our own is working hard on our behalf.”

Dr. John Flowers, physician, Flowers Pediatric Clinic of Pine Bluff, said, “Senator Lincoln has been a champion for Arkansas’s small businesses, families, and children, and she has consistently supported efforts to ensure the well-being of all Arkansans.”

Mary Ann Greenwood, Ph.D., CFA, President and Investment Adviser of Greenwood & Associates, Inc, in Fayetteville, said, “Senator Lincoln understands that small businesses need tools from the federal government to invest and grow.  She works with our best interests in mind.”

Jamie Pafford-Gresham, owner of Pafford EMS in Arkansas, said, “Senator Lincoln has always been an advocate for rural health care providers.  She listens to our concerns, understands the unique challenges we face and looks for solutions.  That’s why I am proud she is fighting for us in the United States Senate.”

Ed Pat Wright, Pharm.D, Hickory Hill Pharmacy in Helena-West Helena, said, “Senator Lincoln appreciates the valuable role of community pharmacists in Arkansas, who are often on the front lines of patient care in rural areas.  Many pharmacists rely heavily on Medicare and Medicaid, and Senator Lincoln has focused on ensuring those programs work for pharmacies so that Arkansans can continue to access the care they need.  In addition, I have seen firsthand her commitment to helping Arkansas’s seniors navigate Medicare’s prescription drug program.  She is a tremendous advocate for our rural health care system.”