Before I was elected to office, I was a certified public accountant and small business owner in Detroit Lakes, so I have first-hand experience with the challenges faced by small business owners. I have strongly supported small business programs since I first came to Congress. I also was the first U.S. Congressman to appoint a professional economic developer to my staff and I am proud to say that we have worked diligently for many years to provide businesses and community leaders with information about the tools and resources they need to help them succeed.

Also since taking office I have sponsored many conferences and seminars on economic development including topics such as small business resources, housing development, telecommunications, exporting, local food development and most recently opportunities for the unmanned aircraft systems industry in Northwestern Minnesota. Over the years I have been honored to receive awards from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business for my support of businesses throughout my district.

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