LIMA — A group of Allen County business owners gathered to rally for change in the White House behind local Republican candidates at Wannemacher Total Logistics on Thursday morning.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, state Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina, and state Rep. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, expressed their support for local small businesses and gave reasons why President Barack Obama should be voted out of office at the event, part of the National Federation of Independent Business bus tour.
“We all have one thing in common, and that’s that we have built our businesses,” said Wannemacher president, Greg Wannemacher. “You can imagine how offended we were at President Obama’s comment, ‘You didn’t build that.’ Government mandates have been strapping small businesses like ours and their opportunities to grow.”
Local businessmen, like Wannemacher, and Tom Ahl, owner of Tom Ahl Family of dealerships, expressed their concern with government-mandated environmental assessments and Environmental Protection Agency mandates concerning storm water runoff.
“These fees can run anywhere from $2,000 to out of this world,” Wannemacher said. “We’ve also encountered [Environmental Protection Agengy] mandates on storm water runoff that has increased our real estate taxes on one of our existing complexes by $17,600 per year. And I don’t even want to start talking about the effects that Obamacare will have on us.”
Wannemacher revealed statistics that small businesses create two-thirds of American jobs and comprise 97.7 percent of all employer firms.
And local Republican candidates stood behind Allen County’s businessmen and businesswomen. Jordan said from the local businessmen he’s spoken with, if Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney were to get elected in 12 days, they would stop hesitating to spend their money.
“I’ve talked to individual business owners who have said, ‘I’m holding onto my money. I’m not doing the investment that I normally would. I’m not going to add onto my bill and buy that piece of machinery or equipment that I was going to. I’m waiting,’” Jordan said on Thursday. “That uncertainty of what’s to come with taxes, what’s coming with Obamacare, what’s coming with the next regulation, the so called ‘fiscal cliff.’ I just had a businessman tell me at an event right here in town, ‘Mitt Romney wins, I’m letting loose with some money on Nov. 7, I’m going to go ahead and do it.’”
Huffman shared the story of when he learned the hard way he had to do his laundry on his own. After he graduated from high school, he went to school at St. Louis University and was forced to do his laundry himself.
“I got home the next summer and at the end of the week, I put all my clothes in the laundry basket and was going down to the basement to do it and my mom looked at me with this shocked look on her face. ‘What are you dong?’ she said. And I kind of looked at her and said, ‘Gee, I don’t know, I guess I’m doing laundry aren’t I?’” he said. “But if I didn’t have to, I probably would have never done laundry if I still lived with my mom and dad. And that’s kind of where we are with the president of the United States. He doesn’t understand what these folks deal with every day in their businesses.”
Faber hammered home that government doesn’t create jobs, a point he said Obama mistakenly uses.
“But government can certainly kill a lot of jobs. In Ohio, we’ve tried to be an example that if you get out of the way, the private sector will respond,” he said. “Here’s another truism — 70 percent, almost 80 percent of the jobs in Ohio, come from small businesses.”
A spokesman for Obama responded by saying the president cut taxes on small businesses 18 times during his four-year term.
“President Obama cut taxes on small businesses 18 times, expanded lending to small businesses by $80 million. These policies helped create more than 170,000 jobs in Ohio, building an economy from the middle out and moving the country forward,” said David Turner, a spokesman for the Obama campaign in Ohio. “The president has been consistent and clear about his concrete second-term plan to continue restoring economic security to the middle class. This lies in stark contrast to Mitt Romney who is now trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes and mislead Ohioans about his plans to enact the same policies that crashed the economy.”