Over the weekend, communities across the country had the opportunity to participate in Small Business Saturday. While this annual shop local event encourages Americans to get out and show support for small businesses in their neighborhoods, it also serves as a reminder that a thriving economy is driven by our Main Street job creators.

When I travel across the Fourth District of Oklahoma, I am always inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and can-do attitude of our own small businesses. Whether as an employee or owner, Americans depend greatly on small business success. Currently, there are more than 30 million small-businesses in the United States, and an estimated two out of three new jobs in the economy are created by small businesses. In fact, more than half of Oklahoma’s workforce either owns or works for a small business. According to the most recent state findings from the Small Business Administration, Oklahoma has approximately 347,165 small businesses employing an estimated 712,797 people.

It is amazing to see the real difference a year of improved policy can make for our Main Street job creators. Without question, Congress should continue to lift the regulatory and tax burdens that hinder the success of America’s small businesses. But thanks to tax reform, I am pleased to report that the environment has been greatly improved on Main Street.

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law, small businesses and the communities they serve have become noticeably better off. According to the findings of a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, optimism amongst small-business owners is at its highest level in recorded history. Due to much-needed tax relief, job creators on Main Street have been able to expand and invest more in their employees. Wages are rising for workers, more jobs are available and hiring is ticking upward. In fact, unemployment has declined to its lowest level in half a century.

This year on Small Business Saturday, the future indeed looked brighter on Main Street for business owners, for workers and for consumers. While I am encouraged to see the tangible benefits of tax reform in such a short time for small businesses, lawmakers must continue to identify and ease unnecessary burdens weighing them down. When entrepreneurs and small-business owners are empowered for lasting success, the whole of the nation clearly thrives as a result.