Congressman Tom Reed Visits with Local Small Business Leaders

Posted July 2, 2013

Rep. Tom Reed meets with Southern Tier small business leaders
By Jason Whong, The Star-Gazette, 7/1/13

HORSEHEADS — Local small business leaders spoke to U.S. Rep. Tom Reed Monday at a meeting at Seneca Beverage in Horseheads.

About a dozen business leaders talked to the congressman and to members of the state legislature about conducting business in the Southern Tier.

Reed said the purpose of the meeting was to see how the federal and state governments could work together to make it easier for businesses to grow. “We had some great conversation across the table,” Reed said.

The main concern that Reed thinks businesses have is a need for long-term certainty about utility costs, and the tax burden.

Kevin Keeley, president and chief executive officer of the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce, said the meeting was positive and that Reed’s attitudes about small business and the economy are in line with most of the members of the Chamber of Commerce.

“Our message is at least being delivered,” Keeley said. “Where it goes from there in Washington leads to some skepticism and cynicism some days, but it’s good to know the message is being delivered.”

The notion of small businesses struggling in the Southern Tier has been a recurring theme, even before Reed represented the district, but the congressman said he still had one “eye-opening moment” in the meeting, when a business owner said that of his company’s roughly 100 clients, only five of them were in New York state.

“It raises the legitimate question: is that company going to remain in this area to service those five companies, or are they going to potentially decide to move to those other areas of the country where the 95 are located?” Reed said.

“That’s why need need to make a strong New York state,” he said. “That’s why we need to make this region a strong economic region for the state.”

Reed said he wants to make the tax code simpler and fairer. He also wants to the tax code be less burdensome on small businesses, which he called “the economic engine of America.”

“When we talk about increased taxes, when we talk about increased regulation, these are the people, these are the faces that are going to be impacted by that,” Reed said.

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