Travelers Institute Takes “Small Business – Big Opportunity” Symposia to Seattle

April 9, 2014

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today announced that it will bring its “Small Business – Big Opportunity” symposia series to Seattle, Wash., on Thursday, April 10. The Travelers Institute will partner with the Association of Washington Business for the event, which will be held at the Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center.

The symposium will convene local business thought leaders for a discussion of the daily challenges facing small businesses and potential solutions that could help encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.

“Seattle has seen recent encouraging signs of small business growth,” said Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice President of Public Policy at Travelers. “We look forward to working with the Association of Washington Business to better understand what is most important to entrepreneurs in the region and how to create a small business-friendly environment.”

According to Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, the number of new businesses opening since 2010 is nearly double that of businesses closing, pointing to a strengthening business climate.

Rahim Rajan, Senior Program Officer for Postsecondary Success at the Gates Foundation, will provide a keynote address. Woodward will then moderate a panel discussion, which includes the following veteran industry professionals: Brian Bonlender, Director, Washington State Department of Commerce; Gary Chandler, Vice President, Government Affairs, Association of Washington Business; Kim Krogh, Senior Commercial Account Executive, Fidelity Associates; and Walter McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, SBA Manager, Banner Bank.

Chandler, a former Washington state representative and a small business owner, will provide insight into how legislators can do more to help small businesses succeed.

“Washington’s economy can benefit if we lessen the regulatory burden on small business owners,” said Chandler. “We need to understand their concerns and think critically about the difference between necessary and excessive regulation.”

The Travelers Institute launched “Small Business – Big Opportunity” in 2011 to raise awareness on a variety of concerns for the country’s nearly 28 million small businesses. For more information, visit the Travelers Institute website and

About the Travelers Institute

The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies, Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of importance to the insurance marketplace and the financial services industry more broadly. 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, analysis and solutions to public policy makers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. For more information, visit

About the Association of Washington Business

Formed in 1904, the Association of Washington Business is Washington’s oldest and largest statewide business association, and includes more than 8,100 members representing 700,000 employees. AWB serves as both the state’s chamber of commerce and the manufacturing and technology association. While its membership includes major employers like Boeing, Microsoft and Weyerhaeuser, 90 percent of AWB members employ fewer than 100 people. More than half of AWB’s members employ fewer than 10. For more about AWB, visit

Media Contact:
The Travelers Institute
Luke Shane, 860-277-4090

Source: The Travelers Institute