Let's Grow Tour 2017

Over the past decade, the U.S. has averaged a mere 1.5% annual economic growth.  It’s time to turn things around. Growing the U.S. economy will create jobs, increase wages, and expand opportunities for all Americans. Economic growth must be our nation’s top priority.

Let's Grow Tour 2017


During the first 100 days of the new administration, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce traveled across the country to hear directly from America’s job creators—small business owners. From Detroit to Atlanta, Chicago to Baton Rouge, American businesses are looking to Washington to create the policies that will spur economic growth across our country.

How do we spur economic growth? We listen to America’s job creators.

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“We don't need government to create the jobs, we need government to create an environment that allows a business like ours to grow and create the jobs. There will always be regulation, but it doesn't have to be so burdensome. There will always be taxes, but they don't have to be so punitive.”

— Joe Cipriano, CEO and Founder, Constructeam
Fraser, Michigan


Frank Venegas, Founder and Chairman, Ideal Group
Detroit, Michigan

"I think that they can make the rules more fair for smaller companies, because I think that some of the requirements for health care and taxes and things like that are particularly tough for small businesses."

Ryan Sullivan, President, Xenith       
Detroit, Michigan

"We make the most advanced protective equipment for athletes right here in Detroit... There's a skilled labor shortage across the country, so we are always trying to find skilled, talented workers."

Lisa Lunsford, CEO, Global Strategic Supply Solutions
Livonia, Michigan

"It is critical for our leaders to pound the drum about the importance of education, whether it is a two-year degree, four-year degree, or a vocational certification. Our leaders need to understand what education means for the country to grow, and for me to grow my business."



Loretta Lepore, Founder and Principal, Lepore Associates
Atlanta, Georgia

"In Atlanta, we're looking for lawmakers to get back to the table to find some bipartisan consensus and identify areas in public policy where we can move forward.  We all know that healthcare reform is not a partisan issue, that's a bipartisan issue affecting all Americans and all businesses across this country. We know that tax reform is not a bipartisan issue. That's an issue that needs to be addressed, to simplify for every American across the board and every small business across the country."

Randy Whitaker, President, Bank of the Ozarks
Northwest Georgia

"We continue to face a number of challenges with burdensome regulations in the banking industry. It is quite difficult for our home owners and potential home owners. The application process that we have to go through now is exceedingly difficult, and it's making it almost impossible to do business and help out these individuals who would like to have a home. Washington can help us out with easing some of these regulations so we can better serve our people in our communities."

Patrick Burns, Founder and President, Arc 3 Communications
Atlanta, Georgia

"I've had my business five years, and the biggest struggle I've had is the cost of health care. The cost incurred by my business when I am trying to grow by hiring more employees and providing them with quality health benefits has been my biggest financial challenge that I would like to see fixed in Washington."



“I believe a barrier to industry is the slowly deteriorating pool of skilled laborers. … College is not for everyone. We need more vocational and tech training. Our society feels a college degree should be obtained by everyone, and it shouldn’t. God made us all different, and we all have different talents.”

— Ellie Schroder, Owner, Maison de Reve Builders
Covington, Louisiana


Ray Ventura, Owner, Ventura Uniform Service
Kenner, Louisiana

"My biggest challenge is the growing number of regulations coming from the federal government, mainly from OSHA and the National Labor Relations Board. These regulations seem to strangle businesses today."

John Donahue, President and CEO, DonahueFavret Contractors
Covington, Louisiana

"We don't need to be over regulated to the point where we can't afford to run our businesses, or we can't afford to grow our businesses. We need to provide the opportunity for the people in America that want to work a job."

Micahel Tillman, Chief Commercial Officer, Rain CII Carbon
Covington, Louisiana

"Understanding where we're going with trade and environmental policies is important, but I think more importantly is understanding how we can foster a more dynamic environment related to exchanging ideas between government policy makers and business leaders."



Jim Schultz, Chairman and CEO, Intersect Illinois
Chicago, Illinois

“The things that could be most helpful to us would be reduced regulations and increased investment in infrastructure. An example of some of the regulations that are impeding our business growth are the EPA regulations.”

Andrew Kim, CEO, HaulHound
Chicago, Illinois

”We're a small business looking to grow, and we need access to that capital that currently is being limited. Access to capital would allow us to hire the necessary people needed to expand our offerings. We could finish everything that we need to in a matter of months rather than years.”

Clayton Harris, Executive Director, Illinois International Port District
Chicago, Illinois

“Here at the Port of Chicago, we need Congress and all other entities to focus on waterways as an integral part of transportation. Specifically, we need more of a dedicated revenue source for infrastructure improvement to elevate congestion.”


Across the Country, Small Businesses Are Making Their Voices Heard

Maxine Turner, Founder and Owner, Cuisine Unlimited              
Salt Lake City, Utah

“New opportunities for entrepreneurs, beginning with tax reform, regulatory reform, and other priorities, would result in an economic vigor that would benefit every family across this country.”

Warren Brown, Owner, CakeLove
Washington, D.C.

“We’ve had a lot of challenges trying to find access to credit and capital, and it has put a lot of pressure on my business. I’d rather not spend my time searching for capital. I’d rather spend my time developing my business.”

Patricia Owen, Founder and Owner, Faces Day Spa and Faces Lash Studio
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

“The biggest barrier between my business and growth is burdensome regulations; not only the ones that we experience today, but the fear of more in the future.”


America’s Economy is Stagnant

Over the past decade, U.S. annual economic growth has averaged a mere 1.5%, which is less than half the 3.1% annual average we experienced between World War I and 2008.

What Would Real Growth Mean?


How Do We Achieve Real Economic Growth?

The U.S. Chamber is working every day to advance policies that will:

  • Reduce regulations and reform the regulatory system
  • Grow American energy
  • Expand trade opportunities
  • Rebuild infrastructure
  • Expand access to capital
  • Reform tax, legal, and immigration systems
  • Improve education and workforce development

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We depend on voices like yours to promote policies that will grow our economy and create jobs.

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