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Bright addresses Chamber guests

After 90 days in office, Congressman Bobby Bright has made strides to bring benefits to small businesses.

That’s what Bright told members of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce Tuesday morning, at the chamber’s quarterly breakfast.

“(Some) 70 to 80 percent of employees throughout the country are provided jobs through small businesses,” Bright said. “I’m on the small business committee, and I fully intend to help small businesses.”

The first piece of legislation Bright worked to pass since taking office was one that gives tax credits to small businesses. Now, that bill is included in the federal economic stimulus plan.

“I am proud to say if a small business in Troy or surrounding cities wanted to invest up to $250,000, they could take that off their taxes,” Bright said.

While the luncheon was centered on chamber members, Bright addressed several other issues besides small business.

From the federal budget recently passed to education, Bright laid out several topics of interest to those in attendance.

While Bright said he did not support the $3.6 trillion budget supported by President Barack Obama, it was the best choice of all those proposed.

“I didn’t support that budget,” Bright said. “It was a little too heavy spend wise. (But), the best one was the one that passed.”

Bright said his next goal will be speaking with people in the district about an effort to modify the No Child Left Behind Act.

“We really will be listening to our constituents on this one,” Bright said.

Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Jenniffer Barner said the event is one that will be held each quarter of the year, each featuring a different speaker.

The first one of the year was a breakfast with the local mayors and a county commission representative, but Barner said she isn’t sure just yet who the other guests will be.

“I’m just happy to keep supporting the members,” Barner said. “He brought up good points about small businesses, and I’m just glad the chamber is able to do this for our members.”

Adam Drinkwater, chairman of the chamber’s new Legislative Affairs Committee, said the Pike County Chamber was proud to play host to Bright during his time in the district.

“We’re proud to be the first chamber of commerce he visited since being back in the district,” Drinkwater said. “The congressman showed a real interest and understanding of the issues that affect small businesses.”