Peters Addresses Blue Water Area Chamber Breakfast

Peters Discusses Priorities in U.S. Senate and Highlights Importance of Blue Water Bride Expansion


PORT HURON, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today addressed a breakfast hosted by the    Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce, where he discussed his top priorities in the U.S. Senate, including supporting small businesses, promoting job creation and securing funding for an expanded customs plaza at the Blue Water Bridge. Peters, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, also heard from local business leaders about the issues most important to the Blue Water area.

“Michigan’s small businesses are the key drivers of our state’s economic recovery, and I’m focused on making sure they have the tools they need to succeed,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud to support bipartisan policies that help increase opportunities for entrepreneurs to create jobs right here in Michigan. In Washington, I will keep working to ensure that businesses have access to the capital they need to jumpstart their companies and continue to grow.”

Last week, the Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation Peters introduced to boost the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s main lending program, known as the 7(a) loan program, to meet the growing demand for small business loans. Last year, the program loaned more than $1.2 billion to 2,145 Michigan small businesses at no cost to taxpayers.

Peters has also called for the renewal of Export-Import Bank, an important tool that helps small businesses export their goods to foreign markets and grow their customer base. Since 2007, the Export-Import Bank has supported 228 Michigan companies selling $11 billion worth of goods to countries including Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Canada. The Bank’s charter expired at the end of June, preventing businesses in Michigan and across the country from accessing critical services to grow their companies.

Peters also serves on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where he has been a leading voice in the effort to secure funding for the customs plaza expansion at the Blue Water Bridge. In an April Committee hearing, Peters questioned Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson about the funding, and Secretary Johnson stated that funding for the customs plaza expansion could be included in the fiscal year 2017 budget.

“The Blue Water Bridge is one of our nation’s busiest border crossings, helping to connect goods and travelers with Canada, our closest trading partner,” added Senator Peters. “We must prioritize funding and staffing the customs plaza expansion, which will facilitate trade and tourism and protect our national security.”

“The Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce is honored to welcome Senator Peters to Port Huron to update our members on his work in Washington and address the issues that are important to the Blue Water Area community,” said Thelma Castillo, President and CEO of the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce. “I thank Senator Peters for his work on behalf of Port Huron and the Blue Water Area to promote policies that support our small businesses and grow our state’s economy.”

The Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce consists of more than 470 local businesses, 21-member Board of Directors, and dozens of volunteers serving on various Chamber committees. The Chamber works to support businesses and stimulate economic growth through regional collaboration, advocacy and member development.