Small Business Majority Network Council Member Meets with President, VP to Discuss Long-Term Unemployment

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, January 31, 2014

Anne Zimmerman, a member of Small Business Majority̢??‰?s network council, met with President Obama, Vice President Biden and other policymakers today to discuss long-term unemployment̢??‰?s effects on small business and the economy

**Zimmerman and other small business experts available for interviews**

Washington, DC̢??‰۝Anne Zimmerman, owner of Zimmerman and Co. CPAs in Cincinnati, Ohio, was one of two small business owners who met with the president, vice president, policymakers and CEOs of Fortune 100 and 500 companies at the White House today to discuss long-term unemployment and the importance of extending benefits to millions of job seekers. Zimmerman is one of hundreds of entrepreneurs who recently signed a letter committing to implement best practices for recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed.

̢???It̢??‰?s tax time, which is insanely busy for us, but I felt it was important to travel to D.C. so I could tell the president how important it is to the small business community to make provisions for the long-term unemployed,̢???? Zimmerman said. ̢???Extending benefits for jobless workers helps the small business community and economy by increasing consumer demand while also giving these people the means they need to continue their job search. I signed the pledge to instill best practices within my business for recruiting and hiring the long-term unemployed because I think we need to do everything we can to help these people get back to work. Our economy needs it.̢????

Even with gains in the job market, it̢??‰?s still harder for the long-term unemployed to get a job than any other job seeker. But there are a number of steps that small employers̢??‰۝our nation̢??‰?s biggest job creators̢??‰۝can take to make their hiring practices more inclusive of qualified, long-term unemployed job seekers, including reviewing recruiting procedures, ensuring that advertising does not discourage or discriminate against unemployed individuals, encouraging all qualified candidates to apply regardless of unemployment status and more.

Congress is currently debating whether to extend unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans whose benefits ran out on Dec. 31. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 240,000 jobs will be lost this year due to reduced consumer demand if the benefits are not restored. What̢??‰?s more, state economies already lost more than $400 million in one week as a result of the expiration of unemployment benefits.

Our opinion polling has shown that strengthening the economy has been small business owners̢??‰? top priority over the past couple years. Reinstating benefits for the long-term unemployed would benefit small businesses and the economy by giving more people a chance to continue their job search and increasing consumer demand.

̢???I was very encouraged not only to hear the good ideas being bandied around the table today, but by how committed the president seemed to putting these ideas to good use,̢???? Zimmerman said. ̢???Extending long-term unemployment benefits is a no-brainer, and I hope policymakers listen to the business community on this. It̢??‰?s the right thing to do for small businesses, our economy and the millions of people who are out of work and looking for a way to support themselves and their families̢????.

For more information about best practices for recruiting and hiring the unemployed, read our sign-on letter here:

<p><strong>About Small Business Majority</strong><br />
Small Business Majority is a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing America's 28 million small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and have delivered information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong, sustainable economy. We are a team of more than 30 working from our 11 offices in Washington, D.C. and 9 states, with a network of more than 45,000 small business owners and more than 2,000 business organizations, along with a formal strategic partnership program of more than 125 business organizations, enabling us to reach more than 500,000 entrepreneurs. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about issues including taxes, healthcare, access to capital, entrepreneurship, workforce development, clean energy and immigration. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">Instagram</a>.</p>