U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted The Provident Bank President Chuck Withee this afternoon at a Small Business Committee hearing where she also renewed her call for a bipartisan solution to end the government shutdown. At the hearing Shaheen cited the severe consequences the shutdown is having on the economy and Withee specifically noted how lending has stalled due to the shutdown which has caused uncertainty and hurt New Hampshire small businesses as a result. The hearing provided a forum for multiple small business owners to discuss the government shutdown’s impact on their businesses.
“The brinkmanship in Washington is hurting New Hampshire businesses and jobs and it needs to end,” Shaheen said. “I share the frustration and worry about the very real consequences on small businesses and families of this unnecessary shutdown.
“Holding jobs, the economy and critical services hostage to score political points is irresponsible,” Shaheen added. “We need to work together to do what’s right for our country and get our government running again.”
The Small Business Committee hearing is the second official meeting this year focused on the impact of Congressional impasses on small businesses. Earlier this year, the Committee held a roundtable on the impacts of the indiscriminate budget cuts which Shaheen voted to replace in a responsible Senate Budget Resolution in March. In New Hampshire small businesses make up 96 percent of the state’s employers and nationally, small businesses create two out of every three new jobs. The shutdown has put a stop on critical sources of small business credit, services and economic certainty.
“Small businesses across New Hampshire are suffering for every day the government is shut down,” said Withee, who testified at the Small Business Committee hearing. “The impact is real – small businesses don’t have the certainty they need to function and that hurts every aspect of our economy. Each day Congress doesn’t reopen the government only makes our situation worse.”
Withee also noted that The Provident Bank, which has offices in Southern New Hampshire and Massachusetts, has had twelve small business loans for a total of $2.7 million stall because of the shutdown, resulting in uncertainty for business owners.
Shaheen has been part of a bipartisan effort to end the obstructionism that has paralyzed Congress and has repeatedly urged for bipartisan cooperation to reopen the government. Shaheen has also advocated for Congress to reform its broken budget process and convert it to a two-year biennial budget cycle. She joined Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) to introduce legislation to convert the annual spending process to a two-year budget cycle, which the Senate adopted as an amendment to its budget resolution passed in March.