Small Business Development: California official urges understanding of small businesses

Elected officials proclaim to understand and support small businesses but often fail to provide a truly conducive atmosphere for a sector that makes up the majority of the economy, according to Hector Barreto of the California Commission for Economic Development.

Speaking at the Napa Chamber of Commerce's E3 Economic, Education and Expectations Conference at the Silverado Resort, Mr. Barreto shared his experiences and knowledge gleaned from his tenure as the head of the Small Business Administration under former President George W. Bush.

He told the crowd of about 200 that 99 percent of all businesses within the U.S. are small business -- those with fewer than 500 employees and less than $6 million in annual revenues.

And government should be more accommodating of the 27 million such businesses in the country by providing clear incentives rather than confusing rules and regulations, Mr. Barreto said.

"You can call them small businesses, but they are not small in what they do," he said. "We hear a lot about small businesses from our elected leaders. But it always strikes me how ignorant, for lack of a better term, they are about them."

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