Main Street Business Owners: Trump Got It All Wrong

When it comes to driving local economic growth and putting small business owners in the best position to succeed, Donald Trump missed the mark. 

On taxes, Mr. Trump couldn't be further from the views of Main Street small businesses. He brags of his massive and phenomenal wealth while skipping out on his taxes for decades due to manipulation of the tax code following nearly $1 billion in losses. 

“Trump has exploited the tax system for decades and threatens the safety nets in place to help struggling business and families. Taxes are a cost of doing business and are essential in funding the infrastructure my business depends on”, said Doron Petersan, the owner of Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats and Fare Well Diner Bakery Bar, in D.C. “Skipping out on your taxes year after year doesn’t make you qualified to rewrite our tax code, it qualifies you for an extended visit from the I.R.S.”

"Trump's recently released tax plan would only worsen the unfair U.S. tax system by disproportionately benefitting the highest-income earners and putting a strain on the rest of us. We need to move away from a system that has been manipulated by greed and self-indulgence to create a tax code that levels the playing field, said Matt Birong, the owner of 3 Squares Café in Vergennes, Vermont.

On immigration, Mr. Trump continued to lob insults calling many undocumented immigrants "bad hombres" and doubling down on the need to use tax dollars (to which he does not contribute) to build a wall to keep our customers, future business owners, and innovators out. 

“As an immigrant and the owner of an architecture firm, the walls I build are on homes, designed to keep families safe. We don't build walls designed to keep good people out. It's not how our country or our economy works. Trump's idea of an immigration policy would be a disaster for our country," said Francisco Garcia, the owner of The Building Workshop in San Diego. 

“This country depends on a strong immigrant community. Any ‘business’ person who uses these hard-working employees to make millions, but turns on them for political gain, is no leader to fit to hold our nation's highest office," said Alma Rodriguez, the owner of Queen Bee's Art and Cultural Center.

On access to capital, Mr. Trump shrugged off Mrs. Clinton's claims that he borrowed $14 million from his father to start his business. He corrected her, stating it was ONLY $1 million. For small business owners struggling to get the capital they need to start a new business or keep their business afloat, $1 million is not a sum to be shrugged off. 

"I lost my father at a young age, so getting a loan to start my business from him wasn't an option. I built my business from the ground up, the right way. By honoring my debts, investing in the community that supports me, and treating people with dignity and respect," said Ethel Taylor, the owner of Doggie Washerette in D.C. "Donald Trump could learn a thing or two from business owners like me."

On the issues facing small business owners, the businesses responsible for 2/3 of our nation's job growth, Mr. Trump struck out. Perhaps he should have formed his Small Business Advisory Council before this week.