Governor Bentley Creates Alabama Small Business Commission


MONTGOMERY– Governor Robert Bentley on Monday announced a statewide effort to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Small businesses create three out of four jobs. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are approximately 400,000 small businesses in Alabama. In 2011, over 5,000 jobs were created by small businesses.

“Small businesses are the engines of job growth and an integral part of the framework    that makes up the American economic system,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Alabama’s continued economic progress depends on the prosperity of our small businesses. The creation of the Alabama Small Business Commission will encourage innovation, discuss issues critical to economic growth of small business and promote policies to assist new business start-ups and expansion of existing businesses.”

The Alabama Small Business Commission, created by Executive Order 47, will serve as an advisory body in formulating policies, encouraging innovation, and discussing issues critical to the economic growth of small businesses.  The Commission will promote policies to assist new business start-ups and the expansion of existing businesses.

“America has always been considered the land of opportunity where individuals can start and own a business from the ground up,” Lt. Governor Kay Ivey said. “In recent years, small businesses have been challenged by increasing costs and overreaching regulations. Alabama state leaders continue to fight for small business and protect their prosperity from negative policies handed down from the federal government. The Commission is another way we can serve our small businesses, which are key to the overall economic success of our state.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of not only the Alabama economy, but the economy of the United States,” House Speaker Mike Hubbard said. “In Alabama, unlike at the federal level, our goal is to support small business owners and reduce their burden instead of adding more and more regulations and red tape to their plates.  We believe that small businesses should be able to focus on their real job –growing the economy and creating jobs – and the Alabama Small Business Commission will help them do just that.”

“I applaud Governor Bentley for his vision in the creation of the Alabama Small Business Commission. It is imperative that we continue to support the growth of both new and existing small businesses, as they are the fabric of our overall economy. The legislature looks forward to working with Governor Bentley and the members of the commission to develop common sense legislation and policies that will make it easier for small businesses to thrive in Alabama,” Pro Tem Marsh said.

The Commission will be comprised of Alabama-based small and independent business owners who will serve a two year term with the option of a two year reappointment.  For the purposes of this Commission, the definition of a small business will be 50 or fewer employees. Governor Bentley also created the Alabama Small Business Advisory Committee to provide technical and informational resources to the Commission.

Rosemary Elebash, State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business will chair the commission and advisory committee.

“On behalf of Alabama’s small business owners, I wanted to thank Governor Bentley for recognizing the need to establish a Commission dedicated to helping independently owned and family businesses,” Elebash said. “The goal of the Commission will be to create a business environment that allows the creation of new businesses and the opportunity for existing businesses to expand.   Commission members will be uniquely qualified to serve and represent Alabama’s small businesses in all 67 counties because many of them will have started a business on a shoestring and built a business successfully out of virtually nothing.  Alabama’s small businesses have a special way of life because of their commitment to their local community, the dedication to their employees and to their passion for creating new jobs.”

The first meeting of the Alabama Small Business Commission will be in October, and the commission will present an annual report to the Governor at the end of each calendar year beginning December of 2015.


The Governor’s Press Office can be reached at 334-241-7150.