ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – New York Congressman Nick Langworthy held a roundtable discussion with small business owners at the Elmira Tea & Coffee House on Monday. Representatives from the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce and Southern Tier Economic Growth were also in attendance. Mr. Langworthy’s visit comes as he wraps up a seven-county tour of the 23rd District for National Small Business Week. New York’s 23rd Congressional District includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, and Yates County.

“I think we’re definitely on the cusp of a downturn,” said Congressman Langworthy. “I mean, you have the heightened interest rates, the labor crisis, inflation, it has stagnated this economy to the point where we are likely on the cusp or in a recession. We don’t know quite yet. It certainly feels that way. People are a little more cautious with their spending. They’re not making those big, discretionary purchases, and they’re concerned about their bottom line and providing for their families. We have a lot of jobs. That’s the only difference. Right now, we have a lot of jobs if you need a job, you can find a job. We need more people to want to go find a job. That’s one of our biggest crises here, is employers tell me every day they can’t get enough workers. We need to incentivize that, we need to as Americans have this tough conversation. It’s time to go back to work.”

“Certainly labor, number one concern, every employer, every sector of the economy that I’ve talked to. Keeping workers is hard. There are perhaps people that don’t really want to work, and I’m sorry, but we can’t be all things all people. Just because you don’t want to work doesn’t mean you don’t have to work.”

“I think that what we need to do as Americans have these conversations in our own households and in our communities and I use the bully pulpit of this office to have that conversation. We need to have a strong America. We need a strong workforce. We need to, you know, treasure and honor, not just leisure time. But you know the fact that people you know have a job, they make a living, and they provide for their families and that is a an incredibly honorable thing that we need to celebrate. It’s certainly you know, the time-honored traditions that this country is founded on. You know, self-determination, that you could be whatever you want to be, nothing is pre-ordained for you, and those opportunities exist, and I see those opportunities every day when I travel across this district. We have amazing workforce. We have great people. We have great educational institutions. We just have to get it all working in the same direction. We have our obstacles here in the southern tier, but our best days can be ahead of us.”