I love coffee. Especially when that cup of joe comes from a local coffee shop in one of our rural Texas towns.

I put hundreds of miles on my car every week traveling the district and one of my favorite things to do is use Google to find a new place to grab some coffee.  

More often than not, the owner of the shop is the person behind the counter helping me.

They always have a unique story to tell about their venture – the longtime dream of owning their own small business, the struggle to get the resources to open the doors and the daily hard work to keep things running.

And it’s not at all unusual to learn that the other people working in the shop are family members also willing to sacrifice their time.

These family-owned small businesses are more than the lifeblood of our nation’s economy – they are the bedrock of the American Dream.

Here are some statistics you may not know:

      •     Nearly 7 out of every 10 new jobs come from a small business.

  • More than 2.3 million small businesses in Texas employ about half of the state’s private workforce.
  • Small businesses make up over 98 percent of all employers in the state.

The impact of small businesses in our state cannot be overstated. And while there’s never any guarantee of success, the government should do more to create an environment that gives them the best shot possible.

Empowering these people is something I take seriously.

Since coming to Congress, I have:

·        Voted to repeal the Death Tax, a tax which makes it much harder for small business owners to pass down their hard-earned legacy to the children who worked beside them to build their enterprise.

·        Voted for America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act of 2015, which permanently extends expensing levels to provide stability for small business owners to grow and expand.

·        Voted for the REINS Act, which makes it more difficult for federal agencies to pass job-killing red-tape and gives Congress more oversight of the regulatory process.

·        Voted to repeal Obamacare, which is smothering small businesses in red tape and new taxes, keeping them from investing more into their company and their workers.

·        Voted for the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act, which helps veterans access the resources they need to get started in business.

Recently, I also partnered with Google to help more small businesses in our district make their mark on the Internet.

We had a seminar that taught small businesses how they can make sure they show up in an online search when people are looking for the goods and services they offer. They were also given the opportunity to create a free website, further expanding their online presence and ability to reach potential customers.

Our district is full of innovative individuals who have put everything at risk in order to create a living legacy.

These folks need freedom, support and encouragement, not one-size-fits-all, top-down mandates from Washington.  

They also need our patronage. I encourage you to “think small” as you make your buying decisions this holiday season.

Towns throughout the 23rd Congressional District of Texas boast storefronts that provide unique wares and services delivered with small-town friendliness.

But don’t stop when the festivities have passed. Supporting our neighborhood small businesses should be celebrated every day.

A former undercover CIA officer, entrepreneur and cybersecurity expert, Will Hurd is the U.S. Representative for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas. 

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