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Letter to Arthur F. Burns, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, Appointing Him Chairman of Cabinet Committee on Small Business.

June 01, 1956

[Released June 1, 1956. Dated May 31, 1956 ]

Dear Mr. Chairman:

The important contributions made by small business concerns to the progressive spirit and vitality of the American economy have repeatedly been stressed in my Economic Reports to the Congress and on various other occasions. Such enterprises, of which there are some four million currently in operation, serve continuously as a dynamic influence in our enterprise system. It is often through them that new products and new processes are first brought into use. Equally important, it is in small concerns that many men and women find an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to serve constructively in the business world. For these and related reasons, government policies that make it easier for new businesses to be established and that foster the growth of small concerns enhance the welfare of the whole economy.

The Federal Government has a number of programs now in operation that are significantly helpful to small businesses.

The Department of Commerce helps constantly in the solution of management problems for small businesses through its Office of Technical Services, Office of Area Development, Business and Defense Services Administration and Office of Business Economics.

Financial assistance is available to small concerns through the Small Business Administration.

Jointly with the Department of Defense and with other Federal departments and agencies, the Small Business Administration assists small concerns in obtaining government procurement contracts.

Many small construction companies and related businesses benefit from the home financing programs administered by the Housing and Home Finance Agency.

The Office of Defense Mobilization seeks to strengthen the production potential of small firms in our defense programs.

Through its enforcement of the antitrust laws, the Department of Justice helps maintain the competitive environment that is essential to the nation's economic welfare.

These and other programs and policies of the Federal Government facilitate the establishment of new concerns and foster the growth of small businesses. Yet the conditions of our modern economy are such that many small concerns confront substantial hindrances to their growth. It is my wish that the Federal Government keep fully abreast of developments that affect small businesses. Its programs and policies aimed at assisting small businesses should be carefully reviewed at this time with the object of strengthening them where necessary, and of making recommendations for steps that will provide such enterprises with additional constructive assistance.

To this end I am establishing a Cabinet Committee on Small Business of which I would like you to serve as Chairman. By copies of this letter I am designating the Secretaries of Defense, Commerce, Labor, the Director of the Office of Defense Mobilization, the Administrator of the Small Business Administration and the Administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency as Members. Other department and agency heads will participate on an ad hoc basis as may be deemed desirable. The Committee is to have the continuing assignment of making specific recommendations to me for administrative actions, and where necessary for additional legislation, to strengthen the economic position of small businesses and to foster their sound development.



Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Arthur F. Burns, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, Appointing Him Chairman of Cabinet Committee on Small Business. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232903

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