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story.lead_photo.caption Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer addresses employees of DeLong's, Inc. Friday during a visit by Job Creators Network to the local steel manufacturing company. The JCN bus and crew made a stop Friday in Jefferson City. Photo by Julie Smith / Fulton Sun.

Small business has a fighter in Missouri, the Job Creators Network decided.

Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-District 3, was awarded the JCN Defender of Small Business award Friday.

JCN, a conservative small-business organization, awarded Luetkemeyer the distinction at a stop along its Bring Small Businesses Back Bus Tour.

The JCN Bus Tour features members of Congress and small-business owners advocating for lower taxes, less regulation and policies that support business growth.

The tour stopped Friday at Delong's Inc., a Jefferson City-based steel manufacturer, for a series of speeches and to present the award.

Luetkemeyer, the ranking Republican member of the House Small Business Committee, was commended for defending small businesses against taxation and regulatory efforts at the national level.

"There's nobody that probably does a better job of fighting for small businesses in D.C. than Congressman Luetkemeyer," said JCN President and CEO Alfredo Ortiz. "We're so, so thankful that you are actually leading the charge there in the House with your committee members as well."

Luetkemeyer vowed to work against inflation, regulations and taxation.

"Right now, small business is under attack," he said.

Luetkemeyer said rising costs due to inflation and taxes often hurt small businesses the most, which is why he supports business tax cuts.

The congressman said the government should work to promote small-business investment instead.

"We got to find a way to minimize taxes, regulations and the intrusion of inflation, all those things that are going on that are causing some problems in this country," Luetkemeyer said.

Morgan Costello, co-owner and co-chief operating officer of Delong's, said Luetkemeyer's team reached out to them to talk about celebrating small business, which included hosting the bus tour.

"I think it's incredibly helpful his background because he came from a small town and has been a small-business owner. So when he's speaking, he's speaking from the heart about realities that he's faced in his personal life, and there's no better experience than first-hand experience," Costello said. "I'm really thankful for him to be working in Washington to try to help our family and lots of other family businesses continue to thrive in the future."

The bus tour's next stop will be in St. Peter, Minnesota, it will then travel to Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida and Georgia.

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