Government And Institutions

What Small Businesses Want This Election
In battleground states, small business owners share the issues that are top of mind this Election Day.

Voters Cast Ballots Super Tuesday, 2012

Here’s a snapshot of what’s on the minds of small business owners in battleground states this Election Day:




“Do I think the overall economy is doing very well? No, ma’am, not really. … Taxes are important. We’ll just say I’m voting Republican, or conservative.”

  • Bobby F., Hum’s Hardware & Rental, North Little Rock

Louisiana tourist


“The economy is one thing. Business is terrible. And immigration is bad for the country. Gun control … take the guns away, and we’re in trouble. I’m voting Republican.”

Santo Calandro, Calandro’s Supermarket, Baton Rouge


Montana, retirement, elderly, Jackson Glacier, national park


“I used to be so involved in politics when I was younger, in my corporate and non-profit jobs. And so now I’m in a whole different category. For me, being semi-retired, it’s really important for me that since I paid into Social Security, and my employers paid into it, that it’s maintained. I want to make sure I get my Social Security and my Medicare payments that are paid for by me and my employers.”

Ann Harwood, Bear Spirit Lodge, St. Ignatius



Raleigh North Carolina Rental

North Carolina

“We are all about freedom for everyone. Gay rights, gay marriage, all those things.”

-Kendra Leonard, The Art of Style Boutique, Raleigh Grand at Brier Falls

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, Super Hornets

South Dakota

“What I perceive is the amount of growth within the federal government, and the regulations that are being imposed, really stifle business growth. And the other thing is uncertainty … Uncertainty does not allow for businesses to plan, because they never know. Take the current year tax law -- we don’t even have a tax bill. It will probably pass in the last two weeks of the year and they will make it retroactive to the first of the year. It doesn’t [give] businesses or individuals, for that matter, any time to make decisions.”

Chuck Nelson, Nelson & Nelson CPAs, Sioux Falls


Rocky Mountain, Denver, Colorado


“Health insurance and ObamaCare … Well, we’re keeping our business small, so we don’t have to participate in it. It limits a lot of things for the economy when small businesses don’t want to grow because of taxes or requirements for the government.”

Linda Willetto, Indulge Bakery, Lafayette


Iowa, Davenport Iowa


“It would be nice to get a break on payroll taxes … and I think everyone should be able to carry or have the availability to arm themselves.”

Doug Warner, Twin Image Salon and Spa, Iowa City


Kentucky Derby


“Taxes are obviously always the biggest issue. Minimum wage – that’s a huge issue. We pay slightly above the minimum wage -- $8.50 -- if they bump it to $10 that would be an issue.”

Whitney Fischer, One Stop Liquors, Bellevue


Detroit, Michigan, Downtown


“Business isn’t where jobs are coming from, Senators create jobs … I don’t know where in the world they get this from! The better small businesses do, the more people will be employed … Of course the right to bear arms is a constitutional right and should continue. There should not be any of this where they want to ban guns. If they do ban guns, the only thing that will happen will be that law-abiding citizens won’t have them and the rest of them will.”

Greg Hill, Crooked Creek Farm Dairy, Romeo

new hampshire, rainbow, farm, farming

New Hampshire

“We know that the income disparity is the greatest since 1928 or 1929, I read. For a country to be moving forward and be vital it needs a strong middle class and we’re losing that strong middle class. And that does relate to small business owners. With a shrinking middle class, there is not as many people with disposable income to support us small business companies.”

John Plotkin, Plotkin Furniture, Keene



West Virginia

West Virginia

“For me it’s probably economic development. We don’t really see that raising the minimum wage will make a big difference. It will just pass on costs to the customer, because businesses will be forced to raise prices … being from West Virginia, I’m concerned about this administration and the EPA’s attack on coal. They’ve made it difficult for states that depend on coal to survive. They want cheap power but want to shut down coal plants … they can’t have it both ways.”

Ed Fischer, North Fork Mountain Inn, Cabins



What Small Businesses Want This Election

In battleground states, small business owners share the issues that are top of mind this Election Day.

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