EVANSTON — The Evanston Small Business Network (ESBN) had two special guests at its monthly meeting. U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi and his wife, Diana, joined the group of local business owners for a breakfast meeting at the Legal Tender on Wednesday, April 17.
ESBN Chair Deborah Reno started the meeting by asking each member to give a 30-second speech about his or her business. This activity at every meeting provides the opportunity to learn about each member’s business.
Later in the meeting, Reno then invited Sen. Enzi to speak to the group.
Enzi said he is always focused on how he can help small business and that much of the revenue the federal government receives comes from the private sector. He said we really need those businesses that kick in the extra taxes and provide the jobs.
Enzi said he helped to build coalitions between the federal government and Wyoming that resulted in contracts worth $6 million for Wyoming businesses.
“I sponsor an inventor’s conference every year in Wyoming,” Enzi said, “and some of those contracts came as a result of people attending that conference. I am so pleased with the way businesses operate in Wyoming.”
“When I have time off from Washington, I travel to different towns and cities in Wyoming, like today in Evanston, and I find lots of businesses no one knows about,” Enzi said. “At a coal mine near Sheridan, they are working on capturing the carbon from coal and turning it into carbon fiber. This fiber can be used to produce many different products. They are also making vertical pipes out of it that plants can grow from and will place them next to buildings where they can capture the [carbon] and use that for heating the building and then harvest the plants and eliminate the need for trucking so much produce.”
A less positive statement from Enzi was that if interest rates go up to 5 percent, the federal government won’t be investing in education or the military.
“We are broke in Washington,” he said. “The revenue may look good, but we are $149 billion over on spending. The disaster bills add to the national debt and it is what we are doing with the money that is the problem. We are stealing from other agencies.
“On a lighter note, when I am in D.C.,” Enzi continued, “I visit with eight to 10 people from Wyoming a day. I am amazed at how many people come from Wyoming.”
Enzi talked about wanting to help save the boiler room at the railyards as it is a big part of the railroad history in Evanston. He stayed after the meeting to answer questions and visit with guests.