The Romney campaign will be meeting with small business owners in 24 swing states today with a goal of giving small business owners the opportunity to respond directly to President Obama's "if you've got a business, you didn't build that" comments. The events will be held in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada. Similar events have already been successful and although President Obama has been trying to back track on his remarks for nearly two weeks, small business owners aren't buying it:
In events at small businesses in locations as varied as Waukesha, Wis. to Palm Beach, Fla. to Columbus, Ohio, entrepreneurs will express their anger at the “you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen” line.
Lou Ramos, a small business owner from Tampa, will be at his local event. He owns an information technology and computer training company called Value Enterprise Solutions, Inc. and he said the president’s comments made him “almost throw up when I heard it.”
Ramos is a 64 year old Hispanic veteran, serving in the military from 1973-97, including two tours at the Pentagon, and he said he did read and watch all of the president’s comments in context, not just the two sentences continually highlighted by the campaign.
“I heard the whole thing and I read it,” Ramos told ABC News, mentioning he did like Obama when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. “I heard the whole thing…The guy was talking sincere…This guy thinks success is about government hand outs and not perseverance.”
Just how important are small businesses to the U.S. economy? Which is failing under President Obama's policies? Here are some stats:
• Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
• Employ half of all private sector employees.
• Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.
• Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.
• Hire 43 percent of high tech workers ( scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and others).
• Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
• Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.
• Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.
Small businesses employ about half of U.S. workers. Of 120.6 million nonfarm private sector workers in 2007, small firms employed 59.9 million and large firms employed 60.7 million.About half of small firm employment is in second-stage companies (10-99 employees), and half is in firms that are 15 years or older. Small firms’ share of employment in rural areas is slightly higher that in urban areas; their share of part-time workers (22 percent) is similar to large firms’ share (19 percent). Small firms’ employment share remains steady since some small firms grow into large firms over time.
And who created new jobs before President Obama took office?
Small firms accounted for 65 percent (or 9.8 million) of the 15 million net new jobs created between 1993 and 2009.