06.15.15

Peters Addresses Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber Breakfast

Peters Highlighted Support for Michigan’s Businesses in U.S. Senate

 

YPSILANTI, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today addressed Washtenaw County business leaders at a breakfast hosted by the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber, where he highlighted his top priorities in the U.S. Senate, including supporting Michigan’s small businesses and stimulating job creation across the state. Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce and Small Business Committees, also heard from business leaders about the issues most concerning them.

“Our state and our country’s continued economic recovery depends on investing in our businesses, especially small businesses which are the engines that drive economic growth,” said Senator Peters. “As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, I’m proud to be working on policies to expand small business lending, help jumpstart our economy and strengthen opportunities for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses right here in Michigan.”

Peters, who founded the Senate Smart Transportation Caucus, also discussed legislation he introduced to help develop vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology, the next frontier of the American auto industry and vehicle safety. V2V and V2I technology will allow vehicles to electronically communicate their location, speed and other data with each other and with infrastructure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over 32,000 die in traffic accidents on our highways every year, and that V2V and V2I technology could reduce accidents involving non-impaired drivers by up to 80 percent.

The University of Michigan has already began testing on V2V and V2I at their Mobility Transformation Center, which provides real-world scenarios for testing this technology and eventually autonomous driving technology. Additionally, Senator Peters recently joined Senator Debbie Stabenow and Representative Debbie Dingell in announcing that Ann Arbor SPARK received a grant to create a Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Development Center at the Willow Run Powertrain facility to spur innovation and support development and commercialization of connected vehicle technologies.

“V2V and V2I technology are a critical part of the auto industry’s future, and I’m proud to say that Michigan – and Ann Arbor – is already leading the way in the development and testing of these groundbreaking technologies,” added Senator Peters.

Peters has long been a champion of Michigan small businesses. In April, he introduced a bipartisan bill to strengthen the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s main lending program, the 7(a) loan program, which has since passed the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and now awaits a vote in the full Senate.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Peters authored the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which started in 2010. Many small businesses were struggling to find the resources needed to stay afloat after the recession, and the program leverages significant private capital with targeted federal investments. SSBCI has been a huge success, supporting nearly 100,000 jobs, including 4,000 jobs in Michigan. Over 500 loans have been made here in Michigan and have leveraged more than $430 million in private capital.

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