Case gets Congressional Award for support of small businesses

United States Rep. Ed Case, D-Neighbor Islands-rural O‘ahu, was honored recently in the nation’s capital, as he received the Small Business Council of America’s 2006 Congressional Award.

The award is given annually to select members of Congress for “outstanding leadership and efforts on behalf of the small businesses of the country,” states a press release.

“We are proud to single you out for your dedication to small business and your understanding of the tax and employee benefit problems facing small business today,” said a spokesperson for the SBCA, a national advocacy group for small businesses.

“We especially appreciate your interest and expertise in the small business qualified (health) plan area.”

At the awards ceremony on Capitol Hill, SBCA officials presented Case with a plaque bearing the inscription: “In appreciation and recognition of his outspoken efforts on behalf of small business in connection with federal tax matters, and his support of the entrepreneurial spirit of America’s private-enterprise system.”

“Small businesses make up the backbone of all business in Hawai‘i, and I’ve been privileged to work on their behalf as a member of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business for more than three years now,” said Case.

“In Hawai‘i and across our country, small businesses are major forces in our communities and economy, and we in Congress must be vigilant and advocate-oriented at all times to assure they can and will succeed.”

As a member of the House Small Business Committee since 2002, Case has worked on various initiatives to support national small businesses.

He is an original cosponsor of H.R. 525, the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2005, which would provide for the establishment of Associated Health Plans. H.R. 525 was passed by the House on July 26, 2005, and is awaiting action by the Senate.

Case has received previous awards arising from his efforts on behalf of small business. In 2004, he was named Small Business Advocate by the Small Business Survival Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy and lobbying organization.

In 2000, as a member of the Hawai‘i state House of Representatives, Case was named Legislator of the Year by Small Business Hawaii.

Case joined two other honorees from Hawai‘i at the Washington, D.C. ceremonies.

Robert Midkiff, president of the Atherton Family Foundation in Honolulu, received the SBCA’s Small Business Humanitarian of the Year award.

Jim Starshak of Honolulu was given the Connie Murdoch Award, named for the SBCA’s founder. This award is given to one SBCA member each year who has gone beyond the call of duty on behalf of the SBCA.

The SBCA is a national nonprofit organization which represents the interest of privately-held and family-owned organizations on federal-tax and employee-benefit matters.

The SBCA represents well over 20,000 businesses, consisting of retail, manufacturing and service organizations, and represents hundreds of thousands of qualified retirement plans.

The primary goal of the SBCA is to enact favorable federal-tax and employee-benefit laws for small businesses and their owners.

The SBCA supports legislation which creates important economic incentives, and opposes oppressive and burdensome laws and proposals.

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