Democrats

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Small Business Owners Slam Romney in Events Around the Country

When it comes to Mitt Romney’s small business record, the facts speak for themselves. As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney created or raised over 1,000 taxes and fees on the middle class and small businesses and cut more than $100 million of investments in economic development that would have benefitted small businesses across the state. During his tenure, the number of new businesses created in Massachusetts fell by 10 percent-- that’s what Romney Economics was really all about.

President Obama, on the other hand, knows that we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity, and he continues to aggressively pursue policies to support and invest in the growth of small businesses. The President has cut taxes for small businesses 18 different times, investing more than $200 billion over the last three years to support small businesses.

Small business owners are talking about the differences in leadership and have made it clear they don’t want the brand of Romney Economics that Romney is selling, which would be disastrous for their companies. They have made clear that President Obama’s support of small businesses has helped them grow their companies and be successful.

See below for how Romney’s failed agenda for small businesses is playing in the states:

IOWA

Meanwhile, in Sioux City, Obama’s campaign arranged a news conference today that featured a Republican businessman who takes issue with Romney’s opposition to a tax break for the wind energy industry. Rob Hach runs a business in Alta that installs and maintains wind towers. “Mitt Romney has not understood the impact of the production tax credit,” Hach told reporters in Sioux City. “He has routinely asked for the removal of the production tax credit and he just really hasn’t understood what Iowa is about.” Romney’s campaign website talks of the “failure of windmills” to make a profit and suggests it’s a waste of “both time and money” to invest in wind and solar technology “projects that do not bring us dividends.” – Radio Iowa

“Alta business owner Rob Hach came to Sioux City to speak on behalf of the Obama administration on the need to extend wind energy production tax credits that expire at the end of 2012. Hach was asked about Obama's remarks, and said people have missed the full meaning of the president's point that everyone is aided by others as they go through life. Hach said people who run businesses were aided by a parent who pushed them to succeed in school, while his Anemometry Specialists business was helped through a Small Business Administration loan to buy a building.” – Sioux City Journal

NEW HAMPSHIRE

“Two local entrepreneurs said Tuesday that President Barack Obama's policies are best for small-business owners. Nancy Beach, co-owner of Atlantic Media, and Tim Stone, co-owner of StoneHill Environmental, both participated in a conference call with the media to discuss Obama's support of small businesses and his campaign promise to build the economy from the middle class out. The conference call served as the launch for Obama for America New Hampshire's "Out-Innovate" campaign, a week-long effort focused on spreading Obama's economic vision to Granite State voters. ‘When President Obama took office, American small businesses were facing the greatest economic crisis in decades,’ said Holly Shulman, communications director for the president's campaign in New Hampshire. ‘In response, President Obama cut taxes for small businesses, helped small businesses access credit and proposed the American Jobs Act, which would create jobs by making it easier for small businesses to hire and grow.’” – Seacoast Online

“Two Portsmouth business owners ripped Mitt Romney in an Obama campaign conference call on Tuesday, saying the GOP presidential candidate isn't looking out for the middle class. The call, featuring Atlantic Media co-owner Nancy Beach and StoneHill Environmental owner Tim Stone, was aimed at highlighting President Obama's effort ‘to grow the economy from the middle out,’ according to Obama for America - New Hampshire spokesman Harrell Kirstein.” – Portsmouth Patch

“The battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's campaigns over the role of government in private business continued Tuesday, with small business owners who support Obama calling Romney the candidate of big business and the Romney camp saying Obama is the candidate who is attacking small business owners. Tim Stone, owner of StoneHill Environmental consulting firm, said on an Obama campaign conference call the choice in the election is “supporting middle class folks like myself and small businesses or continuing to provide tax breaks and loopholes for the wealthiest and big businesses.” – Union Leader

OHIO

“Elizabeth Lessner, whose growing empire of seven eateries includes Surly Girl Saloon in Columbus' Short North, an entertainment district located between Downtown and The Ohio State University on High Street, pushed back hard on Mitt Romney today, making her case that while business owners like her directly contribute to the growth of their own business in many ways, help from government, whether in the form of public investments in infrastructure likes roads and bridges or from the federal Small Business Administration can not be disputed.” – Columbus Examiner

“At the Surley Girl Saloon in Columbus, owner Liz Lessner, defended the presidents comments. Lessner now owns give restaurants, but when she opened her first business in 2001, she needed a Small Business Administration loan to get started. ‘There's absolutely no way, had the infrastructure not been there for me to apply for loans and to get training. The small business assistance provides training for an aspiring entrepreneur,’ Lessner said.” – NBC 4 Ohio

VIRGINIA

“Del. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, was outside the McDonnell event to present the Obama side, and told reporters that she thinks Obama’s policies have been helpful to businesses.Of the Obama quote in question, McClellan said Obama “might have stated it differently, but the point that he made is a valid one…. We are a community where you need infrastructure to be successful. While they have the entrepreneurial spirit to get things started, they had help.” – Fredericksburg Star

MICHIGAN

“’I just think that it's important that when you look at the words that are being distorted here today by Mitt Romney and his surrogates, you keep in mind that the president's record is really passionately, strongly behind Michigan families and workers,’ said Oakland County Democratic Party Chairman Frank Houston. ‘A real clear example between Mitt Romney and President Obama is where Mitt Romney would move us backward and push for tax cuts for millionaires, President Obama’s record is that he's cut taxes for small businesses 18 times.’” – Oakland Press

PENNSYLVANIA

“Rob Teplitz, the Democratic nominee in the 15th District state senate race, volleyed back on the Romney campaign claims. ‘If the Romney campaign is going to distort the president's record, and distort what he said, then we're out here trying to tell the truth,’ said Teplitz. ‘And the truth is that he has fought for small businesses and middle class families in a way that few other presidents have and that a president Romney certainly would not.’” – Harrisburg Patriot-News

“Outside the Capitol, the Obama campaign held a brief rebuttal event with state Senate candidate Rob Teplitz. Teplitz works in the PA Auditor General’s office and is running for the seat to be vacated by retiring Sen. Jeff Piccola (R-Dauphin). ‘I’ve heard the whole quote,” Teplitz said, Shortly before referring to Mitt Romney’s former company as ‘Pain Capital.’ He argued that the President has invested in infrastructure and education, ‘so that there’s a strong, positive, healthy business climate so that entrepreneurs can succeed. That’s clearly what he meant, but they take a very small section of that and use it out of context. And the reason for that is, they don’t have anything else to say.’” -- PoliticsPA

MASSACHUSETTS

“Louise Perry, owner of Vintage Frameworks in North Conway, N.H. takes no such offense. Perry, who started her business 13 years ago, said she owes much of her success to finding employees with the right education, to customers’ ability to travel via public roads and bridges, and to cutting edge technology such as pricing software – all things made possible through public investment. ‘Thanks to investments over the last couple of centuries in these kinds of infrastructure, entrepreneurs like myself have had the foundation it takes to start and grow a business,” Perry said. “I believe that’s given me an edge. I know President Obama believes we need to keep betting on American workers and American ingenuity.’” – Massachusetts Live

MISSOURI

“Meanwhile, the Obama campaign has stepped up its defense, launching a wide-scale response featuring direct, repeated responses from the president himself at events and in a new television ad. ‘Those ads, taking my words about small business out of context, they're flat out wrong. Of course Americans build their own businesses,’ President Obama said in his new TV ad, referring to Romney's ads attacking him. ‘What I said was is that we need to stand behind them as America has.’ The Obama campaign also says they are holding numerous events in battleground states countering the Romney campaign's efforts.” – KOLAR 10

NORTH CAROLINA

“In an email to an Observer reporter, Jamie Crain, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, called the “We Did Build This” campaign events Wednesday a “desperate attempt to change the topic from his failing record as Governor of Massachusetts, his ‘business experience’ outsourcing American jobs overseas and his continued refusal to be transparent with voters and release his tax returns. If Mitt Romney applied Romney Economics to the nation like he did in Massachusetts, it would hurt North Carolina’s small businesses and stifle their growth.” – Charlotte Observer

Not all Raleigh business owners agree with that assessment – and the Democrats have found them. Todd McGowan owns Haddock Collision, a Wake County auto body shop he founded in 2003 that has since expanded to four locations. McGowan was part of a conference call for the Obama campaign and has been calling reporters to give his assessment. He said he believes Obama was referring to roads and highways when he said “You didn’t build that,” and that the president was not diminishing the importance of small-business owners taking risks. “He was saying that you’ve got to be in a strong community and a strong society like we have in Raleigh to be successful,” McGowan said. “How could you disagree with that?” – Raleigh News and Observer