PROTECTING OUR SMALL BUSINESSES & LOCAL ECONOMY
The Southeastern region of Massachusetts is home to many unique small businesses – from the fishing boats and cranberry bogs of our historic industries to the research and development firms that are helping to make our area a hub of renewable energy and green technology. These small businesses and industries contribute to our culture, our traditions and, importantly, to our economy as key exporters for the state.
Bill believes these industries need to not just be protected but also promoted. Since coming to Congress, Bill has served on the House Small Business Committee and he has been working to ensure these local small businesses receive the necessary benefits and funding to not only survive but thrive. This includes fighting for critical funding and investment while also advocating for tax credits. It also includes supporting projects such as Cape Wind and South Coast Rail, which will provide a great economic boost for our local businesses.
Another key component of a healthy local economy is to protect our small businesses from burdensome government requirements that often do not take into account the historic and innovative sectors for which Massachusetts is known. Bill has been able to open the lines of communication between the regulators in DC and small businesses throughout our district, often delivering significant results. For example, Bill led the fight against exorbitant flood insurance premiums, which would have crippled homeowners and business owners alike while devastating our real estate market. He commissioned a report into new FEMA flood maps that uncovered incorrect models for the Northeast, and is now fighting to ensure that this oversight is accounted for by FEMA.
- Successfully delayed implementation of the new flood insurance maps in Plymouth County based on an error by FEMA that Bill uncovered.
- Successfully fought to preserve funding for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Massachusetts receives the second largest amount of SBIR grants in the country, and these grants are critical to small businesses in our area.
- Supported repeal of onerous healthcare reporting requirements for small business owners.
- Secured $75 million in disaster assistance for fishing communities across the country, and fought for Massachusetts to receive the largest share of $26 million.
- Cofounded the Congressional Cranberry Caucus and secured $200,000 in Department of Agriculture Value-Added Producer Grants for cranberry growers to expand their businesses by developing new uses for existing products.
- Secured the purchase of $28 million in surplus cranberry crops by the US Department of Agriculture, which will benefit low-income families.
- Worked to expand domestic and international markets for cranberry growers to avoid future surpluses and provide stability.
- Voted repeatedly to save the Export-Import Bank, which has helped agriculture, manufacturing, and research and development businesses in our district secure over $30 million in assistance to increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace.
- Authored and introduced the Agree Act, a major, bipartisan jobs bill to reduce barriers to small business growth and get Americans back to work. The aim of the legislation is to provide relief for small businesses while encouraging innovation.
- Authored and introduced the Strengthen Fisheries Management in New England Act to redirect monies collected by fines imposed on fishermen for better research in New England.
- Authored and introduced legislation to protect the lives of hardworking fishermen by reauthorizing critical safety at sea trainings.
- Formed the first ever Federal Fishing Advisory Board, which consists of fishermen, scientists, government officials, and other members of the fishing industry and related shore-side businesses and provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to come together, discuss issues facing the fishing industry, and look for collaborative solutions.