Small Business Council of America 28th Annual Congressional Awards Honors Members of Congress, Small Business Owners

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    Small Business Council of America 28th Annual Congressional Awards Honors Members of Congress, Small Business Owners

    PR Newswire

    WASHINGTON, May 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Small Business Council of America (SBCA), a national nonprofit organization which represents the interests of more than 20,000 privately-held and family-owned organizations on Federal tax, employee benefit and health care matters, presented its 28th Annual Congressional Awards at a reception on Capitol Hill on May 4th.  

    (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110506/DC96924)

    The Congressional Award honorees included:

    Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) received the 2011 SBCA Special Congressional Appreciation Award for his dedication and hard work in protecting and promoting the nation's small businesses.  The Special Appreciation Award is only given to members of Congress who have already received the Congressional Award in a prior year. Jim Parker, Vice President of the SBCA, said while presenting the award, "Senator Bingaman is a man of exceptional integrity who understands the people of New Mexico and what it takes to run a small business.  Small businesses are far better off because Jeff Bingaman has represented them in the Senate."  Linda Parker said, "Senator Bingaman is the voice for small businesses in the Senate."  Senator Bingaman's work in promoting the small business retirement plan system was recognized. Accepting the award, Senator Bingaman promised to actively support and promote small businesses in New Mexico and throughout the country. The SBCA Special Congressional Award has only been given out three times before in the last twenty-eight years to a member of Congress.  

    Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) received the 2011 SBCA Congressional Award for her successful efforts to repeal the expanded 1099 filing requirements included in the 2010 healthcare legislation that would have created mountains of unnecessary paperwork for small businesses. SBCA agrees with Senator Stabenow that small businesses should be focused on the important things, such as innovation that promotes job creation, and not the burden of filling out unneeded paperwork. SBCA also applauds Senator Stabenow's efforts to cut small business taxes and to provide estate tax certainty so that small business owners are able to plan effectively for the future. "Senator Stabenow has proven to be a real advocate for small businesses. In addition to eliminating the horrendous 1099 paperwork requirements, she has worked to permanently repeal estate taxes for 99% of all small businesses. We applaud her efforts to allow small businesses to plan for an orderly transition to the next generation," said Gary Kushner, Director of the Small Business Council of America.  "I am very honored to have my work in support of small businesses recognized," said Senator Stabenow. "Small businesses create almost seventy percent of new jobs in this country, and we have got to ensure they have an environment in which they can innovate and grow."

    Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI) received the 2011 SBCA Congressional Award in recognition of his knowledge of critical technical tax and employee benefits issues and his dedication to small businesses across the country.  In particular, the SBCA applauds his efforts to provide certainty for small business owners with respect to estate taxes and his understanding of the inability of small businesses to access credit which undermines small businesses throughout Michigan and across the Nation. His ability to understand complicated tax code provisions and their real impact on hard working Americans is greatly appreciated by the SBCA. SBCA director, Gary Kushner, in presenting the award said, "Congressman Levin is a respected member of Congress and Michigan is proud to have him serving as the Ranking Member of the prestigious Ways and Means Committee which is one of the two key committees in the Congress tasked with determining tax policy and oversight of the Internal Revenue Service. We also applaud him for voting for estate tax certainty and to repeal estate tax for most of the small businesses in the country." Congressman Levin in accepting his Award vowed to continue to work with his colleagues to protect small businesses so that they can continue to lead the country in new jobs and innovation. He explained how vital small business was to the growth of our Nation's economy.

    Congressman Dan Lungren (R-CA) received the 2011 SBCA Congressional Award for his successful charge to repeal the onerous expansion of the 1099 filing requirements.  He began this process on his own and within a year had the support of almost all members of Congress and the gratitude of 20 million small businesses that would have been tasked with complying with an unbelievable amount of additional useless paperwork.  Alex Brucker, SBCA Director said, "Because of Congressman Lungren's courage and his extraordinary efforts on behalf of small business, the nation's businesses have been saved significant time and money that would have been expended in complying with this deeply flawed new filing requirement." In accepting the award, Congressman Lungren acknowledged it was a long hard struggle to repeal the new reporting requirement and that it could not have been done without the outpouring of support from small businesses throughout the country.  In accepting the SBCA's Congressional Award for his exceptional achievement in repealing the expanded 1099 filing requirements, Congressman Lungren said, "I want to thank you and all of the small businesses in the country who took the time to let the members of Congress know what the impact of the expanded 1099 reporting requirement would be on their businesses.  Without this overwhelming support for repeal, it would never have been accomplished."  

    Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) received the 2011 SBCA Congressional Award for his dedication and work to repeal the onerous expanded 1099 filing requirements.  He resisted efforts to try to "fix" the problem which the SBCA felt were as bad as the original expansion of the 1099 filing requirements.

    The SBCA also presented awards to several individuals in the private sector in recognition of their outstanding achievements on behalf of small businesses and for their outstanding humanitarian efforts.  Those honorees included:

    Jerry E. Pierce of Orlando, Florida, Chairman of the Restaurant Equipment World in Orlando, Florida President of the Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation, Inc., and Past President of the Central Florida Veterans, Inc., received the prestigious SBCA 2011 Small Business Humanitarian of the Year Award for his charitable efforts on so many fronts.  In addition to being a successful businessman, Mr. Pierce supports his community both with time and money. Each year the SBCA raises money to give to our Humanitarian Award winner and this year, thanks to the generosity of our members and in particular, Neil Carrey, of Santa Monica, more than $4,000 was raised. Mr. Pierce chose to donate this contribution to the Central Florida Veterans Memorial Park Foundation.  This Foundation is currently raising money for a Veterans Memorial that will be built near the New Orlando Veterans Hospital scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2012.  Mr. Pierce was instrumental in raising funds for this new VA Hospital as well. Jerry Pierce actively supports small businesses through his work with the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). Mr. Pierce served in the military in Korea. In accepting the award, Jerry recognized the efforts of small businesses and how important it is for them to speak to Congress and how much they can accomplish by doing so. Neil Carrey, SBCA Director, in presenting the award, said, "Jerry Pierce personifies the SBCA Humanitarian Award.  He has given countless dollars and time helping out the community, particularly for our Veterans and their families."

    John K. Barnard of Cleveland, Ohio, Executive Chairman of Vitamix Corporation, received the 2011 SBCA Small Business Person of the Year Award for his outstanding efforts and accomplishments. John Barnard has distinguished himself as both a thinker and an action-oriented leader.  His philosophy has led Vitamix to achieve business performance excellence through customer satisfaction and operational flexibility. John Barnard and Vitamix are strongly committed to supporting the education of employees as well as others in the community by providing scholarships and grants.   "John helps us remember why small businesses are so important to our economy and to our country.   John is a consummate business man, and Vitamix is a company that knows how to do business the right way.   They do well by doing good – they value relationships with their customers, suppliers and employees.   They've been highly successful as a result.  Rather than trying to make every possible dollar, they focus on providing value, and success and growth have followed," said Matt Kadish, SBCA VP of Legislation.  Matt also assured the audience that Vitamix makes a great blender used by some of the best restaurants throughout the country and the world, as well as in countless private homes.  

    Gary Kushner, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, President and CEO of Kushner & Company, was honored with the SBCA Connie Murdoch Award for his outstanding dedication and efforts on behalf of the SBCA.  Created in honor of one of the founders of the SBCA – highly acclaimed Delaware tax attorney Connie Murdoch – this award is presented in his memory and in acknowledgement of all the good work he did for the SBCA. Gary Kushner is a Director of the SBCA and considered to be one of the Nation's experts on employee benefits.  His company provides HR strategy and employee benefits consulting and administration.  This Award is given only to SBCA members and recognizes Gary Kushner's outstanding contributions to the SBCA.  In presenting the award, SBCA Chair, Paula Calimafde, said, "We are honored to present this Award to Gary Kushner, one of the leading experts on employee benefits in the country.  Not only does he understand the technicalities of providing employee benefits, but he also understands the power of advocating for small business in Congress.  We appreciate his extraordinary efforts on behalf of the SBCA which help small businesses in delivering employee benefits to their employees."  

    SOURCE Small Business Council of America