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Officials praise impact of small business in state

Date: 9/26/2012

By G. Michael Dobbs

HOLYOKE — The role played by job development was one of the major themes at the recognition of Latino Heritage Month hosted by the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce last week.

Gov. Deval Patrick, Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, Richard Sullivan, secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Gregory Bialecki, secretary of Housing and Economic Development and Coleman Nee, secretary of Veterans' Services attended the event.

Bialecki said the Commonwealth is still "climbing out of the recession" with the help of innovation and small business.

Carlos Gonzalez, president and CEO of the chamber, noting the displays of member businesses around the room, called small and micro businesses "the main fabric of America."

He added that if every small or micro business in the nation could hire just one person, there would be no unemployment.

Murray said the state celebrates diversity and noted the Patrick-Murray Administration has made investments in the state that are "geographically equitable."

He noted that although Massachusetts is highly ranked for its public schools, there is an achievement gap with African American and Latino students that still needs to be addressed.

Patrick said he appreciates new companies as they provide "a way forward."

He said that although the Commonwealth has more people covered by health insurance, insurance still costs too much. He added even though Massachusetts has grown more jobs than others states, there is still too much unemployment.

Although noting he was not turning the event into a political rally — he said with a smile he wouldn't name names — he charged there are people "who seek to find political gain by dividing us."

"It's so poisonous. It's so un-American," he added.

"To be American is to imagine a different life for families and reach for that," Patrick said.

He called this election the "election of the century" and urged people to "go to the polls and vote for somebody."

"We get the government we deserve," Patrick concluded.