By Karen Axelton

The Small Business Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, headed by Rep. Sam Graves, has announced a new way for small business owners to make their voices heard in Washington.

While there has been a lot of talk on Capitol Hill about the importance of small businesses to pulling the country out of recession, there is a dearth of actual small business voices in Congress.

Since not every small business owner has the opportunity to travel to Washington, the new interactive online community, Small Biz Open Mic, will give small business owners from all across America a way to communicate directly with the House Small Business Committee.

Small Biz Open Mic encourages blog-type comments and testimonials from small business owners about government policies, Committee news, legislation, hearings and news stories related to small business growth and development. Comments about legislation and policies that impact small businesses will be used to help the Committee conduct its business.

At the site, you can watch Committee hearings in action and provide feedback about what you’d like to hear addressed by the Committee. For instance, a recent post asked entrepreneurs to provide questions they’d like Graves to ask Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget, about onerous regulations facing entrepreneurs.

“Everyone agrees that small business growth will have the most aggressive impact on hiring,” Graves said in announcing the new site. “Small businesses create seven of every 10 new jobs and employ over half of the nation’s workforce, which is why it is vitally important that government supports, instead of burdens, America’s job creators.With your help, we can make certain that Washington supports policies that allow small businesses to thrive and pave the way to economic growth, innovation and job creation.”