Rep. Roger Williams Addresses Key Small Business Concerns at Fort Worth Chamber Event

The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce hosted its latest Leaders in Government event, presented by Kelly Hart, on Thursday, September 7. U.S. Representative Roger Williams, chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, was the featured speaker. Chairman Williams visited with members of the Chamber’s Business Retention and Expansion Committee as well as the Government Affairs Committee prior to the luncheon, providing updates on issues facing the country’s small businesses.

Based on conversations with business leaders throughout the year, the Fort Worth Chamber relayed the following top issues of importance to Representative Williams:

  • Talent and workforce needs
  • Lack of people skills among those entering the workforce
  • Encouraging trade skills for some students instead of college exclusively
  • Identifying business skills gaps and working with educational institutions to address them

In his remarks, Representative Wiliams touched on similar issues that he sees facing Main Street in his work as Chairman of the Small Business Committee. He highlighted bipartisan legislation to enhance transparency when it comes to the cost of trade school vs. cost of attending a four-year institution, in an effort to encourage trades like welding, carpentry, and plumbing as a viable career path for students.

Other issues mentioned by Representative Williams were that inflation and interest rates remain too high for small businesses to prosper and that improving our national supply chain rather than having to rely on other countries would be a step in the right direction. He also mentioned his desire to support smaller, community banks so that the very largest banks in the country don’t consolidate too much control in the financial sector.

Lastly, Representative Williams indicated his support for certain reforms to the Small Business Administration (SBA). According to Williams, the SBA is currently unable to account for $36 billion loaned out during recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and he would like to recover as much of those funds as possible. He also mentioned the SBA should be a lender of last resort for American businesses rather than positioning itself as a first option for lending.

The Fort Worth Chamber is honored to have been joined by Representative Williams and to have an elected official from the region chair one of the most important committees in Congress. Connecting the Chamber’s membership with elected officials like Representative Williams will remain a priority when delivering value to businesses across Fort Worth.

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