The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 30, 2007

President Bush Meets with Small Business Leaders in Illinois
Sterling Family Restaurant
Peoria, Illinois

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Jobs & Economy

9:12 A.M. CST

THE PRESIDENT: I'm here in Peoria for a couple of reasons. One, I'm looking forward to going to a great American company, Caterpillar, and talking about the importance of opening up markets for U.S. products, because when Caterpillar sells its products overseas, it helps people find work here in Peoria. But equally importantly, I'm here with some business entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.

Here are my impressions. One, the business sector, small business sector of the heartland is strong. And it's really strong because of the low taxes. But it's also strong because of the entrepreneurial spirit is strong. You can't have a good business unless you have somebody willing to lead that business.

Secondly, I am very impressed by the civic spirit of the people here. People understand that when you live in a community you have an obligation to help that community realize its full potential. I'm real proud of the Reverend, who has taken a tough neighborhood here in Peoria and helped revitalize that neighborhood by utilizing his skills, his talent, and a power higher than himself.

The Congressman told me that when I came back to Peoria I'd find a community that's vibrant and strong and optimistic, and people around this table are vibrant and strong and optimistic, and I can't thank you enough for sharing your concerns, talking about your hopes, and I can't thank you enough for working hard to really make America the great country that it is.

So God bless and thanks for your time.

END 9:13 A.M. CST

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