What Small Business Owners Want From Their Next President

As most of you know, the NY primaries are happening today, April 19th (and if not, consider this your reminder to get out and vote). 

As small business plays such a big role in our economy (the SBA estimates small businesses generate approximately 64% of all new jobs) I’ve been asking my bootstrapping subjects what their hopes are when the new POTUS takes office and what role owning a business plays in their voting decisions.

The answers varied, from Kerry Diamond of Cherry Bombe Magazine seeking a flat tax for businesses, to Chris Stang of The Infatuation making a spirited case for nationalized healthcare.  And while Forbes Fisher of Steve’s ice cream is pro-Hillary and Shana Tabor of In God We Trust is feeling the Bern, nearly everyone I spoke to felt that small businesses are an important part of the American economy and deserve the attention of our elected leaders.

Read the full answers from the people behind Cherry Bombe, The Infatuation, In God We Trust and Steve’s Ice Cream in the excerpts below.

Despite the media frenzy, no matter the results the Tuesday or this November, Forbes Fisher isn’t worried, “even with Trump, honestly.”

He thinks the notion of luxury items – like his company’s ice cream – dipping in sales because of leaner times is outdated and that, these days, “people are prioritizing their food purchases and making responsible selections, both environmentally and socially” no matter the cost.

We can all agree on that.

From Shana Tabor, In God We Trust:

As a business owner, the upcoming election, anything that you’re hoping to see happen?
I think most of the stuff I want to see is more personally driven. I’m not sure I’ve thought of it that much from a business-owner point of view. I probably should (laughs). I will come out and say that I’m a Bernie Sanders supporter. I think everything that he has to say is great and it would be awesome if it all actually happened.
There is a lot of shit you have to deal with as a business owner. It’s so stupid and crazy with the government. The healthcare stuff we’ve been dealing with is such a nightmare. I do find myself sort of torn because I want this to be awesome and great and I want to be supportive of it but it is actually a nightmare. They should make it all easier to deal with. 

Read her full interview here

From Chris Stang & Andrew Steinthal, The Infatuation: 

Finally, the upcoming election, you guys are business owners, is there anything from a legislation standpoint that you guys would like to see happen?
Stang: Nationalized healthcare. Not kidding. I'll get into this because it makes me angry. This is not just a political issue. Certain politicians will preach about how small business is what drives the economy and how we have to empower small businesses but a huge portion of our monthly expense is mandated healthcare for employees…to the point where if that wasn't there, we could hire two more people, today. I'm feeling the burden.
Steinthal: It's more complicated than just nationalized or not but I do think that at some point, someone has to figure out how to actually start to solve the problem. It may not be right or left but someone has got to seriously say, “How do we make it cheaper to take care of people?” There are companies out there that are hiring people on contract as opposed to full time just because they don't want to pay their benefits, which is also unfair. It's only happening more and more and yet no one has any good answers for it yet.

Read their full interview here

From Kerry Diamond, Cherry Bombe Magazine:

Anything you’d like to see happen in the upcoming election that would benefit small business owners?
I’d love for one of the candidates I’m rooting for to propose a flat tax for businesses. The tax system is so complicated I can’t wrap my head around it. As a small businessperson, you have no choice but to hire bookkeepers and accountants and muddle your way through it if you don’t have a finance or business background, which I don’t. It’s almost impossible to do it on your own.
I don’t mind paying taxes. But I want to see something good happen with that tax money—good schools, the unfortunate being taken care of… I want a candidate focused on the right things, not just making the rich richer.
The system today favors corporations, not small businesses. We’re the backbone of all these communities. It would be awesome to have all of our elected officials be super pro-small business and talk them up all the time. Can you imagine?

Read her full interview here

From Forbes Fisher, Steve's Ice Cream:

Any hopes for the upcoming election?  
Business wise. I don’t think so. Personally I am a Hillary supporter. Bernie has a great message and I think it would be nice if some of that could be incorporated into the next President’s platform but on the democratic side, I think it would be good for a woman to be president. Trump would be a disaster (laughs).
For me, I see people fighting on Facebook - if Bernie gets elected, we’ll have to pay too much in taxes, Trump will do this, etc. - but whoever is elected, I don’t see there being a huge impact on business. Even with Trump honestly.
There’s that argument that luxury items are the first to go when times are tough but I think that is a really outdated way of thinking. I think people are prioritizing their food purchases, even in ice cream, and making responsible selections, both environmentally and socially. Even if we were going to go into slow economic growth, I don’t think that would affect our market share.

Read his full interview here