Remarks on Signing the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982

July 22, 1982

I think before I say anything, some thanks are in order. First, I would like to congratulate the Members of the Congress whose hard work has resulted in passage of the Small Business Innovation Development Act, and, particularly, Senators Weicker and Rudman and Congressmen Mitchell and McDade for their work. And, of course, the small business community itself should be complimented for a job well done.

As you know, last March I submitted to the Congress the first annual report on the state of small business. In that report, I reiterated my support for the bill that's about to be made law. Now, you just think about that. There's a government report whose recommendations are actually being followed. [Laughter] So, I'm very happy to put my John Hancock on this legislation today. I might even sign my own name. [Laughter]

Our Nation is blessed with two important qualities that are often missing in other societies: our spirit of entrepreneurship and our capacity for invention and innovation. These two elements are combined in the small businesses that dot our land. And, as we meet here today, there's some fellow or gal in a research park or a garage inventing something that will make our future healthy or more productive or more comfortable. I believe the bill recognizes the contributions of small high-technology firms to the Nation's growth, productivity, and competitiveness.

The innovation and productivity of small businesses are well-documented and known to all of us. I need not report the overwhelming statistics. So many of the statistics I see in this job are less than upbeat, but I'm always encouraged when I read what small businesses are doing for America.

Small business is a tonic for what ails this country. By passing and signing this act, we're showing our resolve to unleash this most innovative sector. The Small Business Innovation Development Act recognizes that we in government must work in partnership with small business to ensure that technologies and processes are readily transferred to commercial applications.

Now we face the difficult task of implementing this program in several agencies of the Government. Let me assure you of this administration's strong commitment to this program. We will direct the rest of the Government to cooperate fully in speedily putting it into effect.

And now I'd better get to the business of signing that legislation and making it law.

[At this point, the President began signing the bill.]

You still don't have pens that'll write more than one word. [Laughter]

It is law.

Note: The President spoke at 1:30 p.m. at the signing ceremony in the Rose Garden at the White House.

As enacted, S. 881 is Public Law 97 - 219, approved July 22.