To the Editor:
For 35 years, I have observed and often participated in job creation and job loss in Northern New York. This recession brought a sharp drop in sales for many of us who own or manage small businesses and organizations, and it has been among the most challenging time for thousands of our neighbors who lost jobs, wages, and career opportunities.
But one bright spot in recent months in Northern New York is the growing interest in small business development.
1. We have been one among many participants in the entrepreneurship classes at Clarkson University, and have seen interest in programs of our area small business development centers. It is great to see neighbors starting or growing a small business. Where do the funds come to support the small business development centers? Primarily from the Obama Administration’s commitment to small business development.
2. To create jobs, small businesses often need financing. Area local development loan funds are among the few sources of loans for small businesses, as private-for-profit lenders have pulled back. Where do funds come from to help grow jobs among small businesses? Primarily from federal government programs that Congressman Bill Owens supports.
3. The HIRE Act and recent tax law changes will save North Country small businesses millions of dollars this year. These tax credits encourage small business people to hire more workers. Who promoted these programs? The Obama Administration and legislators like Bill Owens.
4. For our business and many others, connecting over the Internet with suppliers, customers and employees is critical. We need to “connect to compete.” Where are funds coming from to connect hundreds of small businesses and thousands of households in Northern New York? From the stimulus act priorities set by the Obama Administration and leadership of Bill Owens.
5. Pundits claim that the health insurance reforms will cost small businesses. That does not seem to be the case. In Northern New York, the vast majority of businesses have fewer than 50 employees and so will be exempt from mandates. Instead, we may actually get better access to more affordable health insurance for employees and likely at lower cost, and with tax credits. Who was looking out for small businesses in this legislation? Congressmen like Bill Owens.
For small businesses to survive and grow in a tough new economy, we need legislators who understand small business. Bill Owens knows how hard but gratifying it can be to grow Main Street businesses. For those of you who want a better future in the North Country with more opportunities for yourselves and our young people, it makes good business sense to vote for Bill Owens for Congress.
Thank you for your consideration.