Small Businesses to Supercommittee: Invest in the 99% Economy

With the deadline for an agreement from the Congressional Supercommittee less than a week away, small business owners in the Main Street Alliance network are calling on Congress to support policies that bolster the 99 percent and reject any budget-cutting deal that destroys more jobs and further weakens their customer base.

From New York City to Washington State, Main Street Alliance business owners launched a customer education campaign this week in support of the 99 percent movement with posters in their windows that read “Small Business: We Are the 99%.”   

In key Supercommittee states including Washington and Montana, and at the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, small business owners are making the case for revenues to invest in jobs and restore demand in the op-ed pages of their local newspapers. Excerpts follow:

Ron Wells, owner of Wells & Company, a firm that specializes in renovating historical properties and rejuvenating downtowns in Spokane, WA in the Spokesman Review (November 5):

“It’s time to refocus our political debate on jobs, not cuts. Every step of the way, Wells & Co. creates good jobs for our community. But we need lawmakers to understand that we can’t do it alone…

“If elected leaders are serious about supporting small businesses and getting our economy back on track, abandon the failed policies of job-killing budget cuts. Pay for investments in our communities by closing tax loopholes, and expect Wall Street banks and big corporations to once again pay their fair share.”

 Margaret and Mike Novak, owners of Mike’s Thriftway, a grocery store in Chester, MT and leaders in the Montana Small Business Alliance in the Great Falls Tribune (November 6):

“Ask any small business owners what they need most right now, and the first thing you’ll hear is ‘more customers.’ Our businesses can succeed only if Montanans have money in their pockets to spend in their communities… We can’t just cut, cut, cut and expect jobs to appear out of thin air.”

Marco Reinoso, owner of Superstar Deli in Brooklyn, NY and steering committee member of Small Business United in the Washington Post (November 12):

“When the few hundred richest Americans control as much wealth as millions of the poorest, that is not good for small businesses. They may be power hungry, but the 1 percent can’t eat enough sandwiches to keep all the delis in New York open. We need the 99 percent.”

 Tiffany Turner, owner of Inn at the Discovery Coast and Adrift Hotel in Long Beach, WA in the Chinook Observer (November 9):

“Deep cuts now will not help our economy recover from the worst economic downturn in more than 60 years…

“Over the last three decades, the top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income. It’s no wonder the 99 percent movement and Occupy Wall Street have struck such a nerve across the country… Put all revenue options on the table. I’m happy to contribute my share.”

David Meinert, owner of Big Mario’s Pizza and The 5 Point Café in Seattle, WA in the Puget Sound Business Journal (November 11):

“Small businesses don’t need more tax giveaways for the rich. We don’t need more money spent on bank bailouts, subsidies for oil companies, corporate agribusiness, and the wars. We need money reinvested in American infrastructure, education, health care, and people…

“Investing in the 99 percent economy means more customers for small businesses… small businesses create jobs when we have more customers, not when a wealthy CEO gets yet another tax break.”

Don Orange, owner of Hoesly ECO Auto & Tire in Vancouver, WA and chair of the Main Street Alliance of Washington in the Vancouver Columbian (November 6):

“Large corporations simply aren’t making significant investments or hiring new workers, even while posting all-time high profits, paying lower taxes than ever, and sitting on trillions of dollars in cash — the highest share of their balance sheets than at any time in nearly 50 years.

“That’s why, as small business owners, we support approaches to deficit reduction and job creation that call on large corporations and the wealthy to contribute their fair share rather than further cuts to basic services…”


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