WASHINGTON, D.C. â€“ Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Luke M. Vaillancourt from Vaillancourt Folk Art in Sutton joined a Small Business Week Constituent Roundtable to highlight the success of small businesses in Central Massachusetts and the push by House Democrats to help more small businesses across the country.
“Small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy in Central Massachusetts and Vaillancourt Folk Art is a shining example,” Congressman McGovern said. “For more than 30 years, Luke M. Vaillancourt and his family have been a strong part of our community, running their business with pride. I was honored to have him join us at todayâ€™s roundtable to share his perspective and ideas for how we can do more to support our small businesses in Massachusetts.”
For Vaillancourt, being part of a family business existed long before having a position in the company. According to Vaillancourt, “When people talk about small businesses they often confuse the term by defining a small business as having one or two employees. Since 1984, our staff of 19 has relied on Vaillancourt Folk Art for their livelihood. Every employee feels the struggles and victories that our business feels, and when a small business is taxed and penalized as if it were a large corporation, it hurts all of us.â€ It is Vaillancourtâ€™s hope to relay that message to the congressional committee, â€œThe struggles of a small business arenâ€™t about trying to grow into a â€˜bigâ€™ business, itâ€™s about ensuring our employees have a job, thus allowing our business to be around for another generation.â€
Vaillancourt Folk Art has been in business, in Sutton, Massachusetts since 1984. Founded in Gary and Judiâ€™s basement, the company has seen both expansions and contractions from both internal and external influences. While Vaillancourt Folk Art, whose fine art quality holiday collectibles are available commercially within museums, catalogs, small mom and pop shops, and in department stores around the world, their business goal has always been to provide a living to their employees while contributing an art tradition to customers around the globe.
Vaillancourt reflects, â€œSince I joined my parents at their company, I feel as though there was a separation between government and small business. The fact that Congressman McGovern doesnâ€™t just talk about wanting to help small business, but is having a representative from his district involved in the congressional discussion shows that government and small business can help each other grow and thrive.”
Over half of Americans own or work for a small business, creating around two out of every three net new jobs in the United States. Additionally, Americaâ€™s 28 million small businesses account for 54% of all U.S. sales.