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Small Business Council of America 27th Annual Congressional Awards Honored Members of Congress, Small Business Owners

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Small Business Council of America (SBCA), a national nonprofit organization which represents the interests of more than 20,000 privately-held and family-owned organizations on Federal tax, employee benefit and health care matters, presented its 27th Annual Congressional Awards at a reception on Capitol Hill on May 5th.

(Photo: ) The Congressional Award honorees included: Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) received the 2010 SBCA's Special Congressional Appreciation Award for his dedication and hard work in protecting and promoting the nation's small businesses. Paula Calimafde, Chair of the SBCA, said while presenting the award, "Senator Grassley is a man of integrity who understands the role of small business in our country and who appreciates the special challenges faced by small business today." Al Martin, President of the SBCA, applauded Senator Grassley's efforts to bring certainty for small business owners in the estate tax area, working to free innocent small business owners from the life wrecking 6707A penalties and for understanding that the health care reform bill had very far reaching and possibly negative unintended consequences for small businesses. Senator Grassley stated that he understands that small business needs certainty in the law and that he would work to bring certainty in the law and in the overall regulatory environment for small business. Accepting the award, Senator Grassley said, "Please know that I will remain one of small businesses' strongest advocates." The SBCA's Special Congressional Award has only been given out twice before in the last twenty-seven years to a member of Congress.

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) received the 2010 SBCA Congressional Award for voicing his concerns about many of the health care reforms considered by Congress (and ultimately enacted) and his belief that there was too much government being injected into the system. The SBCA agreed that it would have been better to fix the current health care system instead of throwing it away.

As an orthopedic surgeon for 24 years in Casper, Wyoming, he brought real experience to the table. Peter Shanley, SBCA's CEO, stated, "Senator John Barrasso understands medicine, understands that Medicare is underfunded, understands what patients need. Senator Barrasso willingly shared his expertise with his fellow Senators and Americans. It is a shame that the final bill did not incorporate more of his ideas." In accepting the award, Senator Barrasso pledged to reform the recently passed health care bill and vowed to give the Senate a weekly prescription to fix the health care system and the flawed bill.

Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) received the 2010 Outstanding Congressional Award for his dedication and work on behalf of America's small businesses. This is the first time in 27 years that a member of Congress has been given this award. In order to be considered for this award, a member must have received two SBCA Congressional Awards in the past - Congressman Pomeroy is the first member of Congress to be so honored.

"Congressman Pomeroy was the driving force behind the House's passage of a bill to repeal estate tax for virtually 99% of small businesses. Unfortunately, even though the House worked hard to bring certainty to the estate tax law, the Senate chose not to do so and today small business owners are facing an untenable situation due to the Senate's inaction last year," said Paula Calimafde, Chair of the SBCA, while presenting the award to Congressman Pomeroy.

"Congressman Pomeroy has been a strong ally of small businesses, and we are pleased to honor him with our 2010 Outstanding Congressional Appreciation Award," SBCA Vice President, Matt Kadish said. "His work on behalf of estate tax reform and budget discipline makes him a friend of small businesses everywhere, and we look forward to working with him to improve the climate for small business across the nation." "Small business is the backbone of our economy in North Dakota and across the nation," Congressman Pomeroy said. "I'm greatly honored to accept this award, but the real honor should go to the men and women who work hard every day to expand their businesses and move our economy forward." Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) received the 2010 SBCA Congressional Award in recognition of his hard work in Congress and his dedication to small businesses and small business owners across the country. In particular the SBCA applauds his efforts to change the unfair tax code Section 6707A penalties, which are threatening innocent small business owners with bankruptcy. His ability to understand complicated tax code provisions and their real impact on hard working Americans is greatly appreciated by the SBCA. SBCA director, Alex Brucker, in presenting the award said, "Congressman Lewis is a national icon. His courage is legendary. We honor and thank him for all of his achievements but in particular today we honor him for helping small businesses deal with the unfair treatment of Section 6707A of the tax code that is literally ruining the lives of many small business owners throughout the country. We also applaud him for voting for estate tax certainty and to repeal estate tax for most of the small businesses in the country." Congressman Lewis in accepting his Award vowed to continue to work with his colleagues to fix the 6707A penalty and bring certainty to the estate tax system.

Congressman Charles Boustany (R-LA) received the 2010 SBCA Congressional Award for his efforts to stop the unconscionable penalties being imposed on small businesses and their owners through tax code Section 6707A and for his work on trying to bring the interests of the patient to the fore in the recent health care debate. As a heart surgeon, he brought to the table real knowledge of the issues facing our health care system as well as understanding small businesses firsthand. In accepting the award, Congressman Boustany shared with the audience that he came to Congress because he believed it was the only way he would be able to change the health care system for the benefit of the patient. The SBCA believes that even though deeply flawed, the health care bill was improved by his efforts to bring real life experience to the table. Gary Kushner, SBCA Director, said, "Congressman Boustany understands that many innocent small business owners are facing bankruptcy and health issues because of the unfair provisions of 6707A. Because of his work, IRS has currently accepted a moratorium on enforcement of this draconian provision until Congress can fix the problem." The SBCA also presented awards to several individuals in the private sector in recognition of their outstanding achievements on behalf of small businesses and for their outstanding humanitarian efforts. Those honorees included: Eric Faber, of Santa Monica, CA, received the prestigious SBCA 2010 Small Business Humanitarian of the Year for his incredible charitable efforts on so many fronts. In addition to being a successful businessman, Eric expends a great deal of his time helping his community both with time and money. Each year the SBCA raises money to give to our Humanitarian Award winner and this year, thanks to the generosity of our members and in particular, Neil Carrey, also of Santa Monica, more than $6,000 was given to Eric for him to give to the charity of his choice. He chose to donate this money to the Chris Carrey PAL Scholarship Fund which each year gives out scholarships to boys and girls based on need. In accepting the award, Eric said, "I am hopeful in accepting this award each of you will take a moment to reflect on the good fortune you have and to become motivated to give both time and money to help those less fortunate, particularly children who need our help." Neil Carrey, SBCA Director, in presenting the award to Eric Faber, said "Eric personifies the SBCA Humanitarian Award. He has given countless dollars and time helping out the community, particularly children who have gone on to live successful lives because of his efforts and the efforts of charities such as the Chris Carrey PAL Scholarship Fund." Jay and Kashmira Sonecha, of Newark, DE, received the 2010 SBCA Small Business Persons of the Year Award for their outstanding efforts and accomplishments as representatives of our country's small businesses. They are the founders of Blenheim Homes, Blenheim Hospitality and the Sonecha Foundation. They have created beautiful communities and homes for thousands of people and give back to their community through their foundation. In accepting the award, Jay Sonecha said, "We also honor our employees today who make our companies so successful.

With success comes the requirement to give back to the community and we take that role very seriously." Dan McCollom, Delaware SBCA member, said, "Not only are Jay and Kashmira outstanding business people but they also are people who give back to their community and to their employees. They are known for their generosity, their skill and knowledge and their fair dealing with everyone they come in contact with through their businesses and their foundation." CONTACT: Paula Calimafde of the Small Business Council of America, +1-301-951-9325 SOURCE Small Business Council of America Copyright (C) 2010 PR Newswire. All rights reserved -0- KEYWORD: District of Columbia SUBJECT CODE: POL