Last month, President Obama gathered with residents of Columbia, Ohio in a family's backyard to discuss the state of the nation’s economy. On Monday, the president continued this new tradition with another backyard speech on the economy, this time in Fairfax, Virginia.

During his hour-long speech, President Obama touched on some of today’s most pressing economic issues including:

  • The shrinking middle class
  • Ensuring that the decisions we make today do not negatively affect the economy of our future
  • The need for continual investments in research and development to keep America competitive with countries like China
  • Strengthening the nation’s educational system to ensure that today’s students are prepared for tomorrow’s job market
  • More support for small business owners
After this speech, Obama fielded questions from the audience. One small business owner, who happens to own a business that helps other companies focus on a sustainable business model, asked about the difficult process that small businesses must go through to obtain loans. Although Small Business Administration (SBA) loans have doubled, there is still not enough funding to meet demand.
“That's why this bill that we’re looking to pass this week out of the Senate, and that Gerry and Jim already voted for, is so important -- because what it would do is it would take funding authorization to provide to community banks, who are most likely to give loans to small businesses, but it would say to those banks, you know what, we’re going to hold you accountable for actually lending the money.  So -- because what we don't want to do is just help the banks boost their balance sheets, but they’re never getting the money out of the door.”

To read the entire transcript, visit the White House website.

Photo: stevegarfield/Flickr

Obama's backyard speech on the economy: Part 2
President Obama continues his up close and personal speeches with a backyard discussion in Virginia.