State Representative Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline) hosted the first meeting of the House Democrats’ Small Business and Job Creation Task Force on Monday. The meeting featured a number of special guests including task force members and a panel consisting of Ann Arbor SPARK President and CEO Paul Krutko and Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, Greater Washtenaw Team Regional Director Charlie Penner. The meeting included an hour-long panelist discussion on the types of resources available to small business owners in Washtenaw County, challenges that small business owners must navigate and the personal experiences of the panelists. A question-and-answer session followed the discussion.

“I was honored to host small business owners from my district at this meeting, an important first step in improving Michigan’s economy,” said Driskell. “Hearing from those who work in the small business field every day will help us develop a better understanding of the legislation needed.”

This event was the first in a series of task force meetings designed to address the inadequate job growth in our state. The task force will continue to hold meetings with Michigan residents and business owners to investigate ways of supporting new and existing small businesses as well as methods of promoting job creation within the state. Task force members include Reps. Harold L. Haugh (D-Roseville) and David E. Nathan (D-Detroit), who act as co-chairmen, and Reps. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills), Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), Phil Cavanagh (D-Redford Township), Paul D. Clemente (D-Lincoln Park), Driskell (D-Saline), Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe), Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), Woodrow Stanley (D-Flint) and Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak).

“I look forward to attending additional meetings of the Small Business and Job Creation Task Force around the state,” Driskell sad. “Monday’s event was very informative, and I know that we will definitely learn more as the task force moves forward. I’m confident that by the completion of our meetings, we will have a solid understanding of what needs to be done in Lansing to support small business owners statewide.”