By the President of the United States of America
The American Dream has long held out the promise of a better life to our citizens-one of prosperity, security, and personal fulfillment for all those who are willing to work hard to reach their goals. Our Nation's 22 million small business owners possess the determination and initiative to make that promise a reality, and their entrepreneurial spirit helps to drive the engine of our economy. In addition, products developed by small firms such as the artificial heart valve, the pacemaker, and the personal computer, have revolutionized our daily lives and made this an age of extraordinary possibility.
The number of new small businesses has increased steadily over the last three decades, with 800,000 new businesses incorporated in 1995 alone. Small businesses employ some 53 percent of the private work force, account for 47 percent of all sales in the country, and generate more than half of our private gross domestic product. In addition, industries dominated by small business were responsible for 75 percent of the 1.66 million new jobs created during 1995.
Last year, delegates to the White House Conference on Small Business forged an agenda that will continue such progress and prepare our economy for the challenges of the next century. By implementing their recommendations, "reinventing" the U.S. Small Business Administration, and pursuing other incentives and initiatives, we can establish an even better environment for small business creation and growth. These efforts are vital to keeping our economy strong and strengthening the proud legacy of innovation that has always inspired our people and made America great.
Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2 through June 8, 1996, as Small Business Week. I call upon Government officials and all the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs that celebrate the achievements of small business owners and encourage the formation of new firms.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.
William J. Clinton
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:08 a.m., June 3, 1996]