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Travelers Institute Launches National Series of Symposia Seeking Solutions for Challenges to Small Businesses

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Mar 15, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today launched a series of national symposia, "Small Business, Big Opportunity," to raise awareness and seek solutions for the issues facing small businesses across the country.

At its first small business forum, held in Morristown, N.J., the Travelers Institute brought together business, government and community leaders to discuss recommendations for promoting job creation and economic growth. Panelists also addressed disaster preparedness and business continuity - two issues cited as top concerns in a survey of small business owners. Initial findings of the Travelers Institute's survey revealed that half of the 600 respondents do not have a business continuity plan. Additionally, many of the respondents said a single point of contact for regulatory requirements when starting a small business would be helpful.

"As one of the largest insurers of small businesses in the country, Travelers understands and values the importance of this critical sector of the U.S. economy," said Joan Woodward, Travelers Executive Vice President of Public Policy, who also heads the Travelers Institute. "In an economy in which job creation is on all of our minds, the Travelers Institute wants to facilitate conversations with key stakeholders who can influence change so small businesses can grow and prosper."

"Small businesses are a vital part of the New Jersey economy," said Anthony Bucco, Assemblyman for the 25th District of New Jersey, who participated in the panel. "We are proud to join Travelers in Morristown to identify solutions for the issues facing entrepreneurs today. Events like this will help connect government and business owners and address issues that are top of mind."

In addition to Woodward, who moderated the panel, participants included:

  • Liz Allen, Executive Vice President, Rue Insurance
  • Paul Boudreau, President, Morris County Chamber of Commerce
  • Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco, New Jersey General Assembly, District 25
  • Donna Childs, CEO of Childs Capital and author of "Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best"
  • Steve Liberti, President & Owner, Harbor Freight Transport Corporation
  • Elizabeth Mackay, Senior PolicyAdvisortotheLieutenantGovernoratNewJerseyDepartment ofState
  • Marc Schmittlein, Travelers President and CEO, Select Accounts & Agribusiness

The Travelers Institute will hold additional symposia in select markets throughout 2011 to bring stakeholders together to discuss ways to create better operating climates for small businesses. For more information, visit

About the Travelers Institute
The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and the financial services industry. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry expertise of Travelers' senior management and the technical expertise of many of Travelers' underwriters, risk managers and other experts to provide information and analysis to public policy makers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Travelers

Ashley Maagero

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