Obama and Small Business

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who chairs the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, has been hitting the trail in support of presidential contender Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), so the Small Business Blog took a look at Obama's commitment to small firms.

Washington Post Staff Writer Peter Slevin reports today that Kerry, who is seeking re-election, "jetted to small gatherings around Texas this weekend, telling audiences that Obama, 18 years his junior and barely schooled in Washington's ways, could lead a transformational presidency."

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)

Kerry's staff told the Small Business Blog last month that, as chairman of the small business panel, Kerry supports Obama because: "I know that in President Obama we'll have a champion for small businesses who will make it a priority to bring hope and prosperity to underserved communities by expanding entrepreneurial opportunities for all. He's got a good plan to fix our health care crisis, provide tax relief to small businesses and start ups, and increase access to capital for minority entrepreneurs. He's running on these issues, he's talking about them with real passion. I know he will make it a priority to level the playing field for small business owners, including minorities, women and veterans, and all those working to bridge the wealth gap in rural and urban communities. I have personally worked with Obama in the Senate for fair media ownership rules that will allow small, minority and women-owned firms to compete, and on legislation to improve financing opportunities for small businesses."

I searched Obama's presidential campaign Web site for his position on small business issues and didn't turn up much. Small business is not included as its own category on a drop down menu of important issues, which includes topics such as civil rights, foreign policy and veterans. Nor is it included in an "additional issues" list covering topics such as the arts, Hurricane Katrina, sportsmen and transportation. However, his positions on some issues that the small business community rallies around like health insurance, trade and the research and development tax credit are sprinkled within different topics throughout the site.

When I asked the Obama campaign last month for his positions on small business, they forwarded this document (pdf) outlining his ideas to boost aid to small firms. The campaign clearly does have a small business platform, but it wasn't clear to me where it is on the site. Has anyone else had luck finding it?

Washingtonpost.com's Small Business Blog will take a look at other front-runner candidates' positions on small business in the near future.

By Sharon McLoone |  February 25, 2008; 1:16 PM ET Election 2008
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Yea, and the Clintons don't even have a Gay Rights policy agenda on their website - A HUGE Constituency for the Dems.

Where's the outrage?

She sent me a PDF doc, too. I guess if you don't ask, she won't tell....

Posted by: ProblemWithCaring | February 25, 2008 2:49 PM

Offcourse you are a Clinintonique!!

Posted by: Pato | February 25, 2008 3:27 PM

It is available on his website now (although not exactly the same file name) -- you can find a link to it on the Economy page, which you can reach via the Issues page (Economy is also on a dropdown off the Issues menu item).

Actually, I just looked at it quickly and I don't think it's exactly the same, because iirc, the one you posted was 2 pages, and the one on the barackobama.com website goes over onto a 3rd page.

Posted by: gkouye | February 25, 2008 6:12 PM

Obama doesn't need a position on small business or any other issue because the media will keep brainwashing the American people into thinking he will somehow transform the entire country and unite us all.

What no one ever asks is, if that's true, why does he even have to run for president? If he can unite us, why are so many of us opposed to him?

Posted by: BJ | February 25, 2008 6:25 PM

Small business,huh? Do you know what the Federal Acquisition Regulations(FAR) define a small business as? Any company less than 500 employees! So it is somewhat inaccurate to portray the local drycleaner and the local football franchise as equivalent. So when you hear politicos talking about helping small businesses out with tax breaks, small business loans, etc., they are talking about the franchise owner, not the middle class immigrant dry cleaner business that's on the corner.

Posted by: david51 | February 25, 2008 8:21 PM

Gee, they must have added a link after you were there. Go to barackobama.com.
Click on Issues.
Click on Economy.
Read the issue paper. When you finish and reach the bottom you'll see several PDF files. Among them his plan for Small Business. Click on the PDF icon. There's the plan for Small Business.

Posted by: 33rdStreet | February 25, 2008 10:14 PM

Typical. I scanned the document and could see nothing specific. Same old, same old. He pontificates about the horrible state of things for small business, talks about bills he 'supported' or 'co-sponsored' (he didnt mention anything passing) and offers no specifics whatsoever besides saying he help fix it, give some money (no explanation of where that would come from, as usual), yada. Probably something his staff threw together when it was requested like all the other stuff. I imagine he'll glom onto the other candidates' policies when his staff gets wind of them. But frankly, no one seems to care what his actual plans are so what's the point?

This does tell you something about Kerry though, doesn't it?

Posted by: redhiker | February 26, 2008 12:59 AM

Let me see... Let's visit barackobama.com and try mousing over the "issues" link. Hmmm... let's click "economy" because just maybe the Obama people think that small businesses have something to do with the economy. Now let's try scrolling down. And what's this I see at the foot of the page? A link that says: "Read the plan for small businesses." Now, wasn't that easy? It took me less than 30 seconds. How much time did you put into your search, Ms. McLoone?

Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of lazy journalists and pundits going on about Barack's supposed lack of substance and specifics.

Posted by: mike in illinois | February 26, 2008 1:07 AM

Yet again, it is a case of pushing and pedaling the novice and untested Obama at every opportunity. I have such difficulty believing all the things they say about Obama including this latest thing about him being a "Champion of Small Business".

Well, if we are so enamored and mesmerized by everything he is and has to offer, we might as well make him our GOD.

Posted by: ramone | February 26, 2008 12:48 PM

I haven't gotten turned on by OBAMA as of yet.he talks about change that's scarry I don't think he has any idea about change.

Posted by: Jerry L. | February 26, 2008 5:28 PM

By the way on my post forgot to tell tou people.I own a small business ond one person working for me.Don't think OBAMA is going care about we.

Posted by: Jerry L. | February 26, 2008 5:41 PM

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