updated 7/2/2009 9:17:19 AM ET 2009-07-02T13:17:19

President Barack Obama has invited a group of business leaders to meet with him at the White House today.

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Some of their firms are large. Some are small. But they have in common that they've been able to create jobs despite the economic doldrums.

Their meeting is private, but the president will be making a Rose Garden appearance afterward to talk about the innovations that have helped the companies succeed.

The president also will be sitting down to talk to The Associated Press in advance of his trip next week to Russia, Italy and Ghana.

Later this afternoon, Obama will join millions of other Americans in getting an early start on the July Fourth holiday. Unlike them, he'll be heading to the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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