Small Business Leaders Join Senators In Calling For Financial Reform And Wall Street Accountability

U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce CEO, S. Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce CEO and Small Business Owners Join Senators Durbin, Reed and Bennet at U.S. Capitol to Discuss Small Business Protections In Wall Street Reform Bill

Washington, DC, April 21, 2010 – Today, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin and Senate Banking Committee members Jack Reed and Michael Bennet stood with U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce CEO Margot Dorfman, S. Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce CEO Frank Knapp and Columbia, MD auto repair business owner Brian England to advocate for strong financial reform as legislation moves to the full Senate for debate.

Small business owners who have been at the heart of ongoing debate over the impact of proposals for financial reform say contrary to opposition talking points, small businesses will benefit from measures such as a Consumer Financial Protection Agency and they welcome an independent agency that will protect them as business owners as well as their customers.

Frank Knapp Jr., president and CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce:

“Let me tell you why we in South Carolina support financial reform. That’s right, South Carolina — not a bastion of liberal politics. There are over 100,000 small businesses in our state, many of them desperate for a loan or line of credit to keep servicing their customers. But there are virtually no loans to be found. We are all victims of the highly risky trading and rigged investment schemes of our nation’s biggest banks. Without the financial/Wall Street reform that includes a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the ‘too big to fail’ banks will go back to their own greedy, irresponsible and even fraudulent ways — and they will fail all of us again. Small business owners play by the rules and work far too hard to deserve this big bank-made disaster. And that’s why the South Carolina Small Business Chamber and Business for Shared Prosperity speak with one voice. Support small business or protect the big banks and Wall Street. This should be an easy decision for every Senator.”

Margot Dorfman, CEO, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce:

“Small business owners are major stakeholders in our nation’s bid to reform the ruthless and deceptive practices of Wall Street that have devastated our small businesses, our families and our communities. The U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and our over 500,000 members, call upon Congressional leaders to serve the interests of the American people — not the interests of Wall Street lobbyists. We call upon Congress to enact comprehensive financial reform that will stop shadow banking, stop unscrupulous betting against American families and businesses, stop institutions from becoming so intertwined and large that they are privileged as ‘too big to fail,’ and stop undue influence within our governmental oversight by the very firms we seek to oversee. We cannot let Wall Street executives kill the reforms that are needed to prevent the next calamity. Members of Congress — America’s Main Street needs you to act on our behalf today. Pass strong, comprehensive financial reform, including the creation of a truly independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency.”

Margot Dorfman and Frank Knapp are lead signers on a statement organized by Business for Shared Prosperity calling for a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency as an essential part of financial reform. Other statement signers include the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Alliance, American Business Leaders for Financial Reform, American Made Alliance, Illinois Main Street Alliance, Maine Small Business Coalition, Washington Small Business for Secure Health Care Coalition, Virginia Main Street Alliance and Businesses for a Healthy Montana. In addition, hundreds of individual business owners and executives have signed the statement from around the country.

For the full CFPA statement and a growing list of signers:

To arrange interviews with business organization leaders and business owners and executives around the country or see the full statements by Frank Knapp and Margot Dorfman, contact Shonna Carter or David Lerner, Riptide Communications, 212.260.5000.

Business for Shared Prosperity is a network of forward-thinking business owners, executives and investors committed to building enduring economic progress on a strong foundation of opportunity, equity and innovation.