The argument over which presidential candidate would be better for small business people had a local dateline Friday when a Dayton small businessman appeared at a press conference and endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, saying her opponent, Republican Donald Trump, would have a “disruptive effect on the economy.”
Russ Gottesman, who is the chief executive of Dayton-based CommuterAds, spoke at a Clinton campaign-organized news conference in the campaign’s newly opened downtown Dayton office at 34 E. Main Street.
“I look at Hillary Clinton and (her running mate, Sen.) Tim Kaine, and see people who understand small business owners,” Gottesman said. “We need a champion that’s going to think of us every day when they wake up.”
The concerns of small businesses is a big issue in the presidential race in Ohio, where 930,000 small businesses employ 2.1 million people.
Seth Unger, Ohio communications director for Trump’s campaign, responded via email by saying Clinton “continues to dispatch staffers and trot out local partisans to peddle her message of continued stagnation under a third Obama term.”
“Donald Trump’s America First message of bringing back jobs from overseas, supporting law enforcement, and securing our borders is resonating with disaffected Democrats and independents in Dayton, and clearly it has Hillary running scared,” Unger said.
Gottesman, who founded the CommuterAds in 2008 just as the Great Recession slammed the nation, said Clinton’s economic plan will help businesses.
“Hillary Clinton does have a policy, a very detailed plan that talks about access to capital and making it easier and simpler to be able to launch a business in this country, to be able to have more streamlining and simpler health insurance options for companies that are under 50 (employees),” he said.
Gottesman was joined by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Neera Tanden president and chief executive of the Center for American Progress and co-chair of Clinton’s transition team.
Tanden said Trump has no economic plan for small businesses.
In contrast, she said, “Hillary Clinton is very focused on small business. She has said she wants to be a small business president.”
Clinton’s small business plan calls for streamlining start ups, improving access to financing, providing tax relief — in part by adding a standard deduction — simplifying tax filings, expanding the Affordable Care Act tax credit, pushing government agencies to be more responsive, and making it easier for small businesses to fight when they are not paid or otherwise cheated, according to the campaign’s literature.
If small businesses are growing, said Tanden, “we’re going to get strong and stable growth for everyone, an economy that works for everyone.”