Sen. Brown Holds "Future of Toledo" Roundtable

Prior to Roundtable, Brown Outlines Efforts to Help Small Businesses Expand Operations and Bring Clean Energy Jobs to Northwest Ohio

TOLEDO, OH – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a “Future of Toledo” roundtable discussion with community leaders today at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. Prior to the roundtable, Brown outlined his efforts to bring new clean energy jobs to Northwest Ohio and help small businesses expand operations and hire new workers.

“Northwest Ohio is leading the country in the production and commercialization of clean energy technology,” Brown said. “By working together, we can bring new clean energy jobs to the state and reinvigorate Ohio’s manufacturing industry. That means we need to unfreeze the credit market for small businesses and manufacturers and promote the domestic production of clean energy technology.”

Since 2007, Brown has held more than 140 roundtables, meeting with Ohioans to develop strategies to turn around the state’s economy. He has also fought for federal funds to support clean energy projects in Northwest Ohio, including the recent award of nearly $20 million in Recovery Act funds to Renewable Energy Institute International (REII) to conduct a pilot project in Toledo converting waste biomass to clean diesel fuel; and $75,000 in federal funds for the University of Toledo Renewable Energy Incubator. In addition, Brown hosted a series of forums connecting more than 1,000 Ohio small businesses with federal officials from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Brown’s jobs plan focuses on small business, clean energy manufacturing, and trade enforcement.

Brown outlined components of a legislative package aimed at creating jobs by helping small businesses and manufacturers expand operations and hire new workers. More than 64 percent of jobs across the nation are created by small businesses. Jobs in the manufacturing industry pay 20 percent more on average than service jobs. Each manufacturing job supports 4-5 other jobs throughout the U.S. economy.

Brown is the author of the Small Business Emergency Relief Act, which would temporarily raise maximum amounts for loans administered by the SBA. Brown’s bill, aimed at unfreezing the credit market for small businesses, would increase the caps for SBA’s most popular loan programs. Last month, in a major address on jobs, President Obama announced his desire to use remaining TARP funds to achieve the goals of Brown’s legislation. More information can be found HERE.

Brown has also been leading the fight in Congress to promote the competiveness of U.S. manufacturing and to create new jobs through the clean energy industry. He is the author of the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act, which would establish a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small and mid-sized manufacturers transition to the clean energy economy through retooling. The bill would also expand the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in order to help manufacturers access new export markets. The bill is estimated to have the potential to generate more than $100 billion in revenue for clean energy businesses and create 680,000 direct manufacturing jobs and nearly two million indirect jobs nationwide over five years. Brown is also working to improve the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit included in the Recovery Act. His draft plan calls for increasing the maximum cap on the tax credit and helping to ensure that taxpayer dollars go toward domestic job creation.

Brown was joined today by Mayor Mike Bell; Lucas County Commissioners Pete Gerken, Tina Skeldon Wozniak, and Ben Konop; John C. Jones, President of the Greater Toledo Urban League; Bill Kitson, President of the Greater Toledo United Way; Lloyd Jacobs, President of the University of Toledo; Ford Weber, President of the Lucas County Improvement Corporation (LCIC); Paul Toth, President of the Toledo Port Authority; Sonia Troche, Executive Director of Adelante; Eileen Granata, Regional Director for the Ohio Department of Development; Steve Weathers, President and CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership; Keith Burwell, President of the Toledo Community Foundation; Eric Walker, Director of the Lucas County Workforce Development Agency; State Representative Matt Szollosi; and Deb Ortiz-Flores, Executive Director of Lucas County Job and Family Services.

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