Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Small businesses, the state’s best job generators, deserve respect from Washington

The tour was heavily focused on what Congress could do for small businesses today as I traveled around the Mount Washington Valley area.

Small business owners across the region are suffering from the burdens Washington is placing on them, and they are somewhat fearful about what new burdens may come next. They are looking for relief and a new direction that recognizes their role as job creators.

Despite the tough times small companies are facing, New Hampshire business owners were very receptive and excited about the ideas I’d like to bring to Washington.

“Without small businesses we can’t put anyone to work, because there would be no one to employ them,” said Carl Thibodeau, owner of Tee Enterprises, a precision manufacturing company that employs 22 people at 71 Hobbs St. in Conway. “The current Congress is crucifying small businesses with taxes and more burdens.”

Thibodeau said he employed 36 employees 10 months ago, but due to tax-and-spend lawmakers in Congress, he has had to reduce his staff and the benefit packages for those employees who remain.

The current bills for health care in Congress would “saddle me with things I don’t want or need and make me do things I think are unfair or inappropriate,” Thibodeau said. “I’m for reducing the size of government, reducing government costs and reducing the taxes we have to pay for things we don’t want.”

I couldn’t agree more. Washington needs to be purged of lawmakers who spend their time thinking up new ways to soak small business owners and tell them how to run their operations.

According to Jac Cuddy, executive director of the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council at 53 Technology Lane in Conway, the region needs more businesses like Tee Enterprises to drive its economic engine.

“The engine that drives our economy is basically tourism, retail and attractions,” Cuddy said. “We’re looking to continue to diversify, and find small businesses in other areas of the country that might want to relocate here to create higher-wage jobs and things of that nature. We want the opportunity to be a place and location where light manufacturing and tech companies might want to relocate.”

To achieve this vision, Washington needs to get out of the way, remove barriers to trade and commerce, and let small business owners do what they do best: create goods and services, opportunities and jobs, and economy-driving wealth that will benefit everyone.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m. at the Conway Café at 32 Main St. in Conway so I can listen to more concerns and suggestions from business owners and residents in the area like these.

-- Frank Guinta