Vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine attended a business round-table in Lakewood Tuesday to showcase Hillary Clinton’s five-part plan for small businesses.
Primus Aerospace owner Randy Brodsky hosted about 60 guests from local Colorado businesses at the company’s 43,000-square-foot warehouse. The panel consisted of Sen. Michael Bennet, Rep. Ed Perlmutter, Brodsky and five other entrepreneurs.
The participants represented companies of various sizes from different sectors. Niki Koubourlis of Bold Betties founded her adventure concierge service for women in 2014. Alex Valdez owns the mid-size Ecomark Solar. Susan Brown owns Valerian, a landscape architecture firm that she said needs educated employees.
Kaine took the moment to tell personal anecdotes of he and Clinton’s experiences with small business. Kaine said he worked in his father’s Kansas City welding shop as a child. Clinton’s father built a textile supply company in Chicago.
“That has given Hillary and I a profound understanding that the U.S. economy is not measured by what happens on Wall Street. It is measured by what happens in small businesses,” Kaine said.
This is Clinton’s plan to help small business owners:
- Provide incentives to states and local governments to streamline regulation around starting businesses.
- Increase financing opportunities for small businesses by working with community banks and credit unions and by providing tax credits.
- Make it easier and cheaper to file taxes and create standardized tax deductions in case small businesses don’t itemize their taxes.
- Make it easier for small businesses to provide health care to employees through the Affordable Care Act.
- Simplify communication between small businesses and the federal government.
Kaine described the empowerment of owning your own business. The group also discussed veteran employment, mid-sized business woes and start-up incubators.
Kaine used Trump’s reality show past against him, as Gov. John Hickenlooper did at the convention: “Hillary is a ‘you’re hired’ president, and Trump is a ‘you’re fired’ president.”
During the round-table, Richard Lewis of the RTL Networks raised concerns about minority unemployment rates.
Kaine said that investing in jobs would mean there would be more jobs all around.
Bennet shifted the conversation to education. He said America needs to make the idea of technical and career training as normal as going to college.
“We have an education plan to support the skills [students] need to get credentialed and work in a machine shop,” he said.
Brodsky shared that sentiment, at one point saying, “Children aren’t growing up thinking they want jobs in manufacturing. We need to lure them back.”
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