An Open Letter to President Obama from a Grateful Small Business Owner
I am better off because of Barack Obama, and not just in a few ways. After the 18 tax cuts for small businesses that Obama passed, I received a check back for $236 from the federal government. I'm writing this from my office, in my new home, with an expanded team working for me. While all those things are great, the answer to why I am better can be summed up in one statement.
Having a single customer buying my services makes be better off than four years ago. You see, my business is focused on bringing people the happiness that everyone seeks. I am an entertainer. People spend their money on me when they want their staff or family to be happy.
While happiness is essential, as the economy imploded, so did my business. Not only had new orders for my services come to a halt, but my dream gig entertaining for a medical conference was cancelled. My job was to entertain, but behind the scenes, my job was to take to the stage and motivate doctors and hospital CEO's to work together. At a previous conference, this had been successful, so I was called in for another. This was my dream gig.
My business is the canary in the coal mine. A year before the economy collapsed, I began seeing long-term, larger bookings disappear, despite my doing four times the marketing than 2007. As the economy was in freefall, my business evaporated. When the stock market swung 700 points in a day, people were not hiring entertainment. They are hiring again today.
My position has allowed me to see Obama's impact on every kind of person's life. Whether I entertained in an Ethiopian familie's home, at an Indian first birthday, or a bar mitzvah, I was meeting people from all walks of life. Entertaining in a Barnes and Noble distribution center for a holiday party to show appreciation to workers, I saw the marvelous operation they had created. I met the 1200 workers, many who barely speak English, and watched as huge conveyer belts delivered boxes that the workers put books into that would end up at someone's home.
Why am I such a strong backer of President Obama? First, as Obama was elected to change the way we do things, I knew he had courage. I said to a friend, "Americans voted for change, they have no idea how hard change will be, and that all the forces that have maintained the status quo for so long are very powerful and they will come after him like ravenous dogs." (Go watch his opposition's speaches.) I promised myself, "If he does this and he really is brave enough to tackle the tough issues that no-one else will touch, I'll do whatever I can to have his back when those attacks come." And here I am. President Obama is worth standing up for.
Second, business has been better from the moment that President Obama took office. When Obama delivered his inaugural address and inspired Americans, my phones began ringing again. People were hiring me again. Then, the stimulus passed and Americans knew that, while we had huge problems, at least someone was doing something about them. The boldness of the measure gave Americans confidence again and they started buying like crazy. I felt it in my business.
I have been able to start a second and third business, invest back in my first business, and to buy a home. Banks told us that to start our business we needed two years of full profits to get the startup loan. We had solid backing, but needed to show two years of profits from a nonexistent business. Obama passed an expansion of Small Business Administration money to support startups. They don't give businesses the money, but their backing gives banks the startup to give a loan. We got the documents the day the SBA had money, and the banks gave us our loan.
We hired dozens of contractors for construction. We hired painters, electricians, architects, fire system engineers, dry wallers - you name it. We needed them to help us build. Now we have a good number of people working for us, outgrew our space about a year ago, and are working on the deal to move into something much bigger.
The stimulus helped me have one of my best years in business, so I expected that I would pay tons of taxes. But then, I received the first time homebuyers tax credit, $10,000 directly off my taxes. This was money that I could then reinvest in my business. Next, one of the 18 tax cuts Obama passed for small businesses allows for large purchases to be deducted in the year they are made. I could invest in large equipment, slice lots off my taxes, and the government earns revenue from the paychecks of those I bought from and the business taxes from the company I bought from.
Third, the Affordable Care Act will dramatically impact my parent's lives. I'll probably get to spend more time with them once it is fully implemented. You see, my mother had ovarian cancer and nearly died. My father, a doctor, has kept working mainly to keep his insurance, which she is on. He cannot retire, though in all other ways he is fully ready.
In fact, if my father retired and took advantage of pre-existing condition coverage that Obamacare has already made available, and then Romney repealed the ACA, my mother would lose her insurance. If there was a relapse, she would likely die.
Thank you, President Obama, for having the courage to make hard decisions, face tough opposition, and do things that directly changed my life. My life is entirely different because Obama left tax money in my hand so my small business could grow as rapidly as possible. Today, my dream is back. I've moved fully to where I want to be.
President Obama, you had my back. You had my business's back. For 2012 and forever, I will have yours.