On stage at National Small Business Week’s opening ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night, Fed Chair Janet Yellen exhorted small business owners for their crucial role in the economic recovery.
“The Federal Reserve tries to promote the conditions that foster job creation,” Yellen says, “but overwhelming it is businesses that create the jobs.”
Yellen addressed a group of small business advocates and owners, including the 53 winners of Small Business Person of the Year, who were selected by the U.S. Small Business Administration from every state, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
Yellen, who was confirmed as a replacement for Ben Bernanke at the start of the year, said that since employment starting growing again in 2010, the private sector has accounted for all of the net increase in employment, given that public sector jobs shrank.
What’s more, most of the increase has come from small business. Just over half of new jobs have been created by companies with less than 250 employees.
“America has come a long way since the dark days of the financial crisis,” Yellen said, “and small businesses deserve a considerable share of the credit for the investment and hiring that have brought that progress.”
Yellen was introduced by Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the SBA. She
said that Yellen “shattered the glass ceiling in finance.” Yellen is the first woman to chair the Federal Reserve, one of the most powerful policy-making roles in the world.
Yellen’s speech marked the opening of festivities for National Small Business Week in the nation’s capital. There were ceremonies in San Francisco, Kansas City, and Boston earlier in the week.
Started in 1963, National Small Business Week comes with a presidential proclamation to recognise and support small business owners. The SBA provides loans, federal contracts, and strategic counseling to aspiring and current entrepreneurs.
Other Small Business Week speakers include Sam Adams billionaire Jim Koch and Papa John’s founder
John Schnatter. Look for further coverage on Business Insider.
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