President Obama and members of his cabinet went to Cleveland where he convened a "Winning the Future" Forum on Small Business. The White House said it was an opportunity for the president to hear directly from small business owners and leaders about their ideas for how the nation's economy can continue to grow and create more jobs.
The forum included breakout sessions on entrepreneurship, access to capital, workforce development, exports and clean energy.
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“The truth is... when it comes to our economy it's our small businesses that pack the biggest punch. Especially when it comes to employment. Entrepreneurs like each of the ones who are here today create two out of every three new jobs in this country. So, you're the corner stones of the community,” the president said.
While Obama continues to push small business job creation, there is evidence from entrepreneurs themselves that his $800 billion economic stimulus plan has not really stimulated many jobs in the small business sector.
In the two years since the president signed the package into law, some small-business owners attribute their companies' survival to the stimulus package. Yet many say the plan has fallen short of their expectations.
Some 80% of small, closely-held firms said that publicly traded companies got the bulk of stimulus benefits, according to Pepperdine University's Private Capital Markets 2011 Economic Forecast Report, released in January.
That's in line with a survey conducted in February 2010 by Discover Financial Services in which 70% of small business owners said that the stimulus had no impact on their business.