Crediting the “Chattanooga miracle” as a model for economic growth, Congressmen Chuck Fleischmann and Sam Graves spoke highly of the university and the surrounding community when they jointly hosted their Small Business Forum at UTC. The congressmen invited members of the area small business community to join their discussion covering the healthcare, taxes, regulation, and energy as part of their nationwide panel tour.

“I love and am a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee system,” Fleischmann, who represents the third district of Tennessee in Congress, said. “My son, James, currently attends the outstanding university that is UTC. I’m so proud to be here to have this event.”

“Chattanooga has had an economic miracle, and is truly a renaissance city. Over the last few years, we have boomed and seen businesses pour in,” Fleischmann continued. “Chattanooga about making a fertile environment for American business to prosper and grow. We’ve got one of the best business incubators and Smart Grids, and have been rated one of the top seven cities in the world for technology.”

Fleischmann and Graves both serve on the small business committee in Congress. According to Graves, congressman of the sixth district of Missouri and chairman of the small business committee, Fleischmann had been urging him to visit Chattanooga since Fleischmann was elected to Congress.

“I think that every week since we started, Chuck has told me, ‘you have to come to Chattanooga,’ so I wanted this to be the first stop for him,” Graves said.

The event featured discussion panels on healthcare legislation, tax regulation, and energy policy. Fleischmann invited businesspeople from Chattanooga and the surrounding area to contribute their thoughts and give feedback during the panel.

“It is extremely important that in the current economic climate, that the business community be able to communicate directly with the elected officials who set policy in this country,” Tom Edd Wilson, President of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, said.

During the panel, businesspeople raised their concerns about healthcare legislation, overregulation, poor lending environments, and rising energy costs on small businesses.


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