New Hampshire small business owners came together this week to rebuke the comments made by President Obama in Roanoke, Virginia where he stated, “if you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
At events in Concord and Rochester, Granite State business owners echoed the frustrations of many small businesses across the country that feel President Obama’s policies and rhetoric have been hostile to job creators. A new Gallup poll released on Thursday shows that President Obama has a 35 percent approval rating among business owners.
Here’s what these Granite State small businesspeople are saying about Obama’s policies:
“After starting my business with money that I had worked very hard to save, I created my insurance agency ten years ago. Though it has been a long, tough road, I have been very happy with the jobs that I have created and with the success of my business. I was offended by the president’s comments a few weeks ago when he said that businesses owe our success not to our smarts or hard work, but to someone else, and referenced that we “didn’t build that.” The entire minute-and-a-half that he spent denigrating small business owners’ success was just shocking. Quite frankly, I want an apology. I want an apology for the late nights and early mornings that I spent alone trying to grow my business, with tough decisions on hiring, firing, bonuses, and pay cuts that I have had to make in the past decade to keep this business alive and well. I did these things myself, and the government cannot take credit for my sweat equity. I’m the one that took the risk to jump into this venture, and with the hard work of my employees, contrary to the president’s remarks, we did build our business. The government didn’t do that, and for the president to fail to recognize that fact requires me to say: I want an apology.”
–NH State Rep. Will Infantine of Aspen Insurance
“President Obama’s comments in Virginia were jaw dropping to me. The famous line that came in the speech is when he is speaking about small business owners, and finishes with “you didn’t build that.” Reading the whole statement, it further implies that one’s hard work, one’s risk, and one’s intelligence is all secondary. It is to say, ‘don’t kid yourself, you’re nothing special.’ The whole of President Obama’s public life, his governing philosophy and his point of view is far worse to the entrepreneur in our country than any misspoken comment in one speech. Obama’s philosophy that believes in government more than it believes in people is not the country that we should be living in. My American dream is to earn my home through my own hard work, and many Americans that I deal with in the real estate business feel the same way.
“For voters looking toward November’s election, know that you are invited to believe in people more than government. You are invited to believe in America. You are invited to cheer for the success of small business. You are invited to vote for a leader that will provide encouragement to be successful, that will empower people to do great things with their families and businesses. We need a leader that supports us in being creators of our own destiny, and that leader is Governor Romney.”
–Packy Campbell, Self Employed Realtor
“I took offense to the president’s comments a few weeks ago in Virginia where he spent a portion of his campaign speech criticizing business owners. Since 1988, my partners and I, at great risk, used our homes as collateral to build Secure Care Products. Through the hard work of our great employees, endless determination, and long hours, we grew from two employees to 65 employees in our current business . I can say with my thirty years of business experience that excessive government regulations have only been a hindrance to growth. Small business truly is the economic engine of America, where our profits and products fuel the local economies. Our security and identification systems from Secure Care have kept babies safe and patients out of harm in hospitals and Long Term care facilities across America and around the world. We need someone in the White House that understand the needs of business owners; someone who has been there as payrolls need to be met; someone who has had to move product orders to the customers. This country was founded on the principles of limited government with basic regulations and low taxes, and Mitt Romney will restore those principles to America and create better days for our country.”
–Harold Baldwin of Secure Care Products
“When President Obama said ‘you didn’t build that’ he hit at the hearts of every small business owner, every entrepreneur, every small kid with big dreams across this nation. In 1945, my grandparents built their own business – literally. They built Brown’s Service Station in upstate New York one cinderblock at a time – they built the service bays, the small grocery store attached and the even smaller home behind it where they raised their family. It was my grandparents who were up before dawn pumping gas, fixing other people’s cars, towing them out of ditches at three in the morning. My grandparents – Al and Pauline Brown – born in the first decade of the 20th century, survivors of the Great Depression, and salt-of-the-earth American dreamers, took their sixth grade education and worked harder than everyone else they knew and sent all four of their children to college. They did that. They actually did work harder and longer and only Al and Pauline Brown get the credit for the 35 year success of Brown’s Service Station.
“President Obama’s remarks – when entirely in context, show both a lack of understanding of how the American enterprise system works and a total disregard for the efforts of hard-working, middle-class Americans everywhere who are trying to grow a business, educate their families and make a better America along the way. Gov. Romney understands that businesses are built by the efforts of individuals, and the less government interferes the more successful Americans will be. If we are going to put Americans back to work then we must begin by firing Barack Obama.”
–Jennifer Horn, Romney for President National Grassroots Leadership Committee, Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist, and Small Business Owner