A week ago, I was privileged enough to meet Michelle Obama and speak at her rally in Reno. I shared with her and 3,800 Nevadans why my family and I, owners of the Squeeze In restaurants in Reno, Truckee and Tahoe, support her husband.
Most important, I got to thank the First Lady. Before Barack Obama became President, our business was floundering. But since he took office, we’ve progressed from two restaurants to four. It was one of the highlights of my life to explain why my family’s small business serves as a shining example of President Obama’s successful economic policies.
In 2007, after 3 wonderful years of running the original Squeeze In location, my family decided to open a second restaurant in northern Reno. We had our location, loans and investors lined up when suddenly, Wall Street crashed. We couldn’t pull the plug on our plans, even though most of our financial support had dropped out. So my husband and I put everything on our credit cards and my parents leveraged a second mortgage on their home to keep us afloat.
Despite being on the brink of poverty, we knew our business would have a positive impact on our hometown. We made it work and the community rallied around us. Most important, President Obama came to our aid: his tax cuts for small businesses have helped us immensely. By the time we were opening our third and fourth locations, builders and investors were much more willing to work with us. This summer, we paid off the last of our debt for our second location – it felt incredible.
Times are tough, especially in Northern Nevada. Thankfully, through our restaurants, we’ve been able to add 56 jobs to our local economy during Barack Obama’s tenure. That’s why for me, President Obama represents where the nation needs to go. As the First Lady said on Wednesday, you don’t close the door behind you when you’ve attained success – you keep it open so others can join you. Sometimes it seems the business class have forgotten that government programs help people – that they are helping people achieve the American dream right now.