Dave, a civil engineer from Kansas, owns his own business building parks, pools, and recreation facilities. Although times are tough, he knows small business owners are tougher.
“We’ve got a small firm, about 10 people. We’ve existed about 10 or 11 years now as a company. We started our business from scratch—we worked out of our basement. We went a year without pay.”
Dave, who grew up on a farm, was raised to value public service and hard work—values he passed on to his three daughters, a nurse, a teacher, and an EMT. But after the 2008 financial crisis, it became harder for Dave to see his hard work paying off.
“Most of our projects are for cities. But cities have no money to do anything, whether infrastructure or for improvements to our quality of life.
“We have some projects lined up, but it’s almost universal that before they proceed, we’re told: ‘Let’s just wait a little bit.’ The banks don’t see money to be made, and they think if they move too fast something bad will happen. We work in the Midwest primarily, and the tone is almost the same from state to state—with different accents, of course! Funding is tight, but when your roof leaks, do you just let it leak?”
Dave just wants a level playing field for small business owners, and he supports President Obama’s efforts to extend the payroll tax cut.
“It will make small businesses feel better. But I think the most important thing is confidence, optimism, and positive outlook. People out there just need some encouragement.”
Stand with President Obama to say you support steps to reward hard work and promote fair play.