• Who helped me succeed

    My partner Jeff Brotman and I co-founded Costco almost 30 years ago, but we'd be the first to admit we didn't do it on our own. The story of our business starts many years before that.

    When I was 18 years old, I started working for a man named Sol Price.

    Sol was a good guy with a tremendous sense of social justice—he had the courage to stand up for what he believed in. He showed through example how to treat employees and customers fairly and with respect.

    But he was also a tough-minded business person. Discount merchandising is not for the timid—and Sol was nothing if not courageous and assertive. He's credited with pioneering the warehouse store retail model.

    After 30 years of working for Sol, I set out with my colleague Jeff to try and make it on our own. We scoured the West Coast for investors to provide funding for our start-up. People were reluctant to invest at first, but when they found out I'd worked with Sol, they heard us out and gave us a hand.

    Sol was a mentor, a friend, and a great influence on my life. Without him, I would not be the businessman I am today.

    Business owners benefit from the help of mentors, investors, and communities that foster our endeavors. Many of us got incentives, technical help, or some kind of support from our local, state, or federal government. And over the past few years, small business owners have gotten even more help from President Obama, who signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses and expanded access to more loans and grants for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

    It's up to Small Business Owners for Obama to pass along the truth about the President's support for this community. This debate is going on in papers all across the country—so folks like us, who know how small businesses really work, need to make sure our voices are heard.

    The campaign has put together an easy-to-use tool that will help you find your local newspaper, write your letter, and send it off. With your help, every small business owner in America could open their newspaper and get the truth about which candidate is fighting for you.

    Small businesses can't afford to make a change in the presidency. Gutting investments in education, training, innovation, and manufacturing—all of which help small businesses grow and succeed—would be a disaster, and cutting the Small Business Administration's budget by 19 percent—which is what the Republican budget would do if their drastic cuts were made across the board—would make it harder for local banks to make loans to small businesses that want to expand, invest, and hire workers.

    We've got to fight back and make sure President Obama has another four years to help small businesses succeed. He's had our back for the last four years, and now it's our turn to cover his.

    Write a letter to the editor today to get the facts out.

    Economy and jobs