Grand Ledge Business Owners Reflect on Economy

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By Julia Nagy

Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer

 

Carol Lamb has a little bit of hope. She hopes for a better economy. She hopes she’ll get more business. She hopes for change.

Lamb, who owns Lambs’ Gate Antiques, 208 S. Bridge Street, has been a small business owner for about 12 years and said she’s seen a dip in her business’ success. The state of the economy is a key issue for many Grand Ledge voters like Lamb in the presidential election.

The Log Jam, 110 West Jefferson Street, has been owned by Chris Fata for over three years.

“People are tighter with their money,” Lamb said.

Lamb, who described her small business as a micro-business, said people are purchasing her items less because she doesn’t sell necessities such as food. The dip in profits has hurt Lamb, but she said a larger issue are the amounts of taxes on small businesses.

“There’s something different every year,” Lamb said. “What is this tax for and that tax for? It’s just too much.”

Where the candidates stand

A wide variety of small businesses are located in downtown Grand Ledge.

The economy is an issue both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have stressed, especially discussing the importance of small businesses. Obama has a separate section of his campaign website dedicated to “Small Business Owners for Obama,” where he lists off what he’s done in his presidency to help small businesses out.

The Small Business Jobs Act made over 4.5 million small businesses eligible for larger tax breaks on equipment and machinery. Obama signed into law $200 billion in tax relief and incentives to encourage small business growth.

But for Lamb, it’s not enough, and she will be voting for Romney in the Nov. 6 election.

“He just seems to have a good business head, and I think he has a proven record of that,” Lamb said.

On his website, Romney said the current individual tax code applies high marginal tax rates on a narrow tax base, discouraging work and entrepreneurship. He proposes to make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cuts in marginal rates.

“My entire life experience convinces me that with a leader who fundamentally understands the economy, with a government that encourages investment and hiring, and with the faith and hard work of the American people, we will right the economy, create good jobs, and restore the promise of the future,” Romney wrote on his website.

For Log Jam owner Chris Fata, the economy will be a deciding factor in who he votes for. Fata has owned the Log Jam, 110 West Jefferson Street, for over three years.

“It’s just a battle everyday,” Fata said about owning a small business. “Every single thing has gone up. Food. Electricity. Gas.”

Fata said he’ll vote for the candidate he feels has a good plan to get people back to work.

“Obama is saying he did a lot,” Fata said. “What’s going to be different in the next four years? Unemployment went down some, but that’s not enough.”

 

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