Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Job Creators Network’s CEO Alfred Ortiz to the newsmaker line to discuss their ongoing bus tour and how the Biden administration has declared war on small businesses.
Leahy: We’re joined on our newsmaker line right now by our very good friend, Alfredo Ortiz, president of Job Creators Network. The voice of small business here in the United States. Welcome, Alfredo.
Ortiz: Good morning, Michael. How are you doing?
Leahy: I’m doing great. Now you’ve got this bring back small business bus tour bus stop today as we speak in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Is that right?
Ortiz: I think it’s Waukesha. That’s correct.
Leahy: Waukesha. Tell us about that small business bus tour and what’s the purpose of it and what kind of reaction are you getting?
Ortiz: Well, it’s great. It’s a seven-figure bus tour that we’re taking across the country to really campaign against what we’re calling Biden’s war on small business. Michael, it really is a war on small business.
We have select members of Congress that are part of it and really some fantastic local small business leaders that are hosting our events. We started just last week actually. Our first stop was in Bedford, Texas, and we had Congresswoman Beth DeWine there.
And we gave her what we called our defender of small business. And then we moved on to Jefferson City, Missouri, and we met with a ranking member, Blane Lukamyer there, where we also gave them the defender of small business.
And I have to tell you, these two folks so far have been fantastic. And today that we’ve just been talking about we’re in Waukesha, Wisconsin. And yesterday, by the way, we were in Rochester, Minnesota. So we’re all over the country, actually.
Leahy: Are you on the tour yourself?
Ortiz: So it’s myself and Elaine Parker.
Ortiz: My communications director. Yes. I think you know her.
Leahy: I know Elaine well. And, of course, Waukesha, Wisconsin. We’re going to be covering this story, actually, because tonight we launch our 9th state title, The Wisconsin Daily Star. So we’ve got a report on this coming out tonight in Wisconsin.
Ortiz: Well, that’s fantastic. Can’t wait for you to cover this because these have been fantastic. And, you know, Michael, what we’re doing is we want to really highlight like I said, this war on small business.
We know that this path almost two years, our small businesses across the country have struggled because of COVID and then the mandates and the lockdowns. And so they’re just getting out of this, trying to get out of this. Scratching their way out.
And then they’ve just been getting hit left and right with ideas and costs that are coming out of the Biden administration. We’ve been plowing through all the specifics of what they’re looking at for these pay-fors for their ridiculous $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.
And one of the biggest things that they’re going to do is one of the biggest things that we got out of the Tax Credit Jobs Act, Michael, which is the 20 percent tax deduction for small businesses.
They’re looking to getting rid of that and then raising the corporate rate, which affects about 1.9 million small businesses in this country. In fact, the larger of the small businesses.
Leahy: Is it the Biden administration policy, you think is there a real objective to destroy small businesses in America?
Ortiz: After seeing everything that they’ve laid out in terms of small business, I haven’t seen one policy at this point that actually is there to help small businesses. One person pushed back a little bit on me, and said, but they extended the paycheck protection program.
That’s because it was oversubscribed, to begin with, so that it was like a duh decision, right? I mean, they obviously needed it, but that started in the Trump administration. So let’s be clear about that.
Now we’re really concerned, by the way, Michael, if we can spend even a couple of seconds on this, is this new mandate that these proposing through the Department of Labor’s OSHA. They’re looking at mandating vaccines for all employers that have more than 100 employees.
And they are being, by the way, Michael, on this, and we want to call this out dishonest, misleading, and disingenuous on this because they’re calling the largest employers of our country. 100 employees or more. Michael, that’s two restaurants, basically.
That’s what it takes to staff two restaurants. So if you’re a franchisee of two restaurants, you’re considered one of these country’s largest employers. I think Coca Cola, I think Delta, IDM, right.
That’s what I think. I don’t think of a couple of restaurants down the street or some Great Clips or some Supercuts that have a couple of locations. The way they’re characterizing this, we have great exceptions, too. Yeah.
Leahy: And I think isn’t the definition of a small business 500 or fewer employees?
Leahy: There is going to be another OSHA regulation. I think it’s going to be challenged as unconstitutional. I think it’ll lose in the courts, but they don’t care.
They’re going to push as far as they can to try and crush small businesses. I keep coming back to this whole point. Why do they hate small businesses so much?
Ortiz: My thinking is because they can’t corral them and they can’t control them. They can’t get in bed with them. So they’re just going to destroy them so they can become wards of the state. This is what the Democrats are doing.
They hate small businesses because they can’t control them. They love big business. They are like the biggest defenders of large businesses as far as I’m concerned. And guess what? You take the US Chamber of Commerce and other groups are all now in bed with them.
So we have to fight for our small businesses in this country. Michael, two-thirds of new job growth is in the hand of Small businesses pre-Covid. 60 million-plus people work for small businesses.
There are about 30 million small businesses out there. So we’re talking 90 plus million people hard-working people in this country that are depending on the success of small businesses. I had a small business myself, I think a couple of our colleagues and friends that we both know have small businesses.
Look, we put everything on the line for these businesses, right? Because we had a dream that we could do something with a dream and we put everything on the line. I mean, I don’t know about you and others, but I took credit card advances, cash advances, mortgaged my house, and lines of credit.
You name it, to fund my small business idea because I believed in myself and I believed in this country and that if you work hard, you can have unlimited success. And this administration, I think, believes the is the complete opposite of that. They want the government to completely be in control of you, literally from diapers all the way to death.
Leahy: Yeah. I think you’re exactly right about that. Now, you mentioned something very interesting. And that is the availability of credit for small businesses.
It seems to me that in addition to imposing all of these new regulations like this unconstitutional vaccine mandate for any employer with more than 100 employees, that the Biden administration appears to be wanting to make it more difficult for small businesses to obtain the necessary credit and financial capability to even have sufficient working capital. What are you seeing going on in that arena, Alfredo?
Ortiz: That is actually very different. And, you know, Michael, that actually really started all the way back under the Obama administration with Dodd-Frank. If you remember what happened there, that supposedly prevented another big banking disaster.
But what happened there is that big banks only got bigger. And so not only were they “too big to fail” they became so big that they actually really started killing off of small businesses and our small community banks.
There were 2,000 plus community banks that actually went out of business Dodd-Frank because the regulations that they put on the banking system were just so onerous that the big banks could afford to do it but the little banks, the community banks couldn’t.
So they went out of business. These big banks got bigger and bigger. And so it continues from there. So it’s even harder, as you said correctly, for these small businesses to get credits. They’re looking at Fintech, for example.
But now the Biden administration is looking at trying to rein in some of those regulations as well under Fintech, which is kind of the growing way that a lot of these small businesses are trying to get some of these loans and micro-loans.
But again, when you look at policy after policy after policy, what they did, for example, to our labor market with the extension of the unemployment benefits. There is a true labor shortage in this country.
And there really was, especially even in the summer. Thank goodness now that finally, the unemployment benefits extension of the unemployment, all that has stopped. So hopefully we’ll start seeing kind of a recalibrating of our labor market. But that was a disaster for our small businesses.
I can’t tell you how many members would call me and text me and say, look, we cannot find labor at all. People were closing their businesses. They were only open maybe three days a week because that’s all they could find.
I’m just telling you, Michael, policy after policy, after policy we haven’t seen one element or one policy that is intended to help or small businesses in this country.
Leahy: It seems to be intentional in my view. Alfredo, your tour is today in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Then later this month, you’re going to Florida and Atlanta?
Ortiz: Yes, Florida and Atlanta. That’s correct. We have several stops in Florida, several stops in Atlanta. And then actually, people can find more about the bus tour and our full schedule on jcnbustour.com.
Michael, if I could take a couple of seconds to encourage people to join our fight, jcnf.com to become a member, we need everybody’s help. This is a true war on small business Michael and we have to push back.
The traditional groups that normally you would expect to be helpers of small business overall, they’re just not there. And so we need to give people the opportunity to push back.
That’s what this tour is about. We give these small business leaders also, these small business owners the megaphone and the platform to also state their case and to help these members of Congress to state the case as well. So please join jcnf.com. And if you want more information about our bus tour, jcnbustour.com.
Leahy: Alfredo Ortiz, our good friend and president of Job Creators Network, Thanks for joining us today. Have a great tour.
Ortiz: Thank you, Michael. I appreciate it.
Listen to the full first hour here:
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