Small business owners gather at State House to push pro-growth agenda


first_imgMembers of a leading small business association today gathered at the State House to impress upon Governor Douglas and their legislators the difficulty they are having surviving in the current economic climate. Small business owners urged the governor and legislative leaders to focus on policies and programs that make Vermont a more business-friendly state for entrepreneurs and small employers. Small businesses are the backbone of Vermont s economy, said Shawn Shouldice, Vermont state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. While much of the nation s attention is on Wall Street, it s important that our legislators here in Vermont understand that we re more concerned with what happens on Main Street.NFIB/Vermont member Jim Eckhardt, president of Censor Security in Rutland, said surviving in the economic climate was difficult, but coping with higher taxes and more red tape from Montpelier would make things even worse. I am very concerned that some legislators do not understand that business like mine have had to make some very difficult decisions in order to stay in business, said Eckhardt. Taxes increases are new state mandates will only make it more difficult for me to retain employees and keep the business afloat.Small business owners also expressed appreciation for a renewed focus from the Douglas administration on economic development, but many were also concerned about proposals to increase state revenues, since they feel that an additional tax burden would further tie their hands as they try to manage this downturn.Lindy Lynch of Kevin’s Sports Pub and Restaurant said, The hospitality industry is a major contributor to Vermont’s economy, but we re facing the same squeeze everyone else faces as tourism dollars dry up. Higher taxes will only tie my hands as we try to manage this downturn. We need legislative leaders to make tough choices, and resist raising taxes on small businesses that are struggling.Also attending the Day at the State House were Jonathan and Fran Rutstein of Bread & Chocolate, Earl Wertheim of UPS Store, Jeff Larkin of Arvad s Restaurant, and Vince DiCarlo of The Shire Motel.Shouldice said NFIB members would spend the day with legislators discussing proposals to help small employers weather the economic downturn, and work on solutions to make healthcare and energy more affordable for small business.NFIB is the nation s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB s powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America s free enterprise system. NFIB s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses.Source: NFIB. MONTPELIER, March 31, 2009last_img

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