Small Firms Gather Steam During Election Season

George Cloutier, a small business spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, is part of a movement unfurling that aims to educate the public about the importance of small firms in this presidential election season.

Cloutier stopped by washingtonpost.com offices last month to talk about his proposal to create a "Super SBA," and today he released an open letter to presidential candidates calling for more money and attention for small businesses. In the letter Cloutier is expressing his own opinions and not those of the mayors' group or the firm he heads.

"Look around you, right under your nose there's a hidden majority; to the tune of 23 million voters who can be united over a single issue. This issue crosses party lines, race and gender, this issue represents the building blocks of our great nation and is one of the most enduring symbols of the American Dream -if you haven't figured it out, that's part of the problem," wrote Cloutier, who also heads American Management Services.

"I'm talking about small business, the driving force behind our economy. Why do we continue to spend far more time, money and attention talking about the 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S., than small business, when it supplies 99.6 percent of all employer units and directly effects close to 50 million adults?"

On Monday, the National Small Business Association kicked off a campaign to address the lack of focus on small firms during this election year.

By Sharon McLoone |  February 20, 2008; 1:42 PM ET Election 2008
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