Both presidential campaigns are focusing a lot of time and energy in North Carolina and they’re also calling upon local small business owners to help their cause.
Vice President Joe Biden originally planned to visit TS Designs in Burlington, but when the space didn’t accommodate, he visited Durham and had the company’s president introduce him at the event instead.
“It was such an honor,” said Eric Henry, President of TS Designs, which makes T-shirts from a North Carolina supply chain.
Henry has been a registered republican for most of his life, but he supported Obama in 2008. Recently he said he has become more attracted to the democratic platform.
“Their overall approach to environmental regulations, healthcare, tax reform, all those things together to me, because I think what we need is a balanced approach,” Henry said.
Henry said his company makes a lot of business decisions that don’t help his bottom line.
“Profits are important,” Henry said. “I understand that. But we believe there’s more to business than just profits.”
He said his company focuses on buying from North Carolina farmers, and working with businesses that also manufacture locally, which isn’t always the most cost-effective choice.
He said he believes the president’s health care reform will eventually help TS Designs provide health insurance to his company’s 17 employees at a more competitive cost.
Twenty four hours earlier, the Romney campaign used space from a High Point furniture company to promote the new Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan.
“My husband and I thought, what a great opportunity for this city,” said Melanie McNamara, owner of Absolute Style furniture company.
She said she also voted for Obama during the last election, but she’s not been satisfied with what he’s done for the economy.
“In business people don’t have that luxury as a business owner or as a corporate executive to have four years to turn things around,” McNamara said. “If they don’t turn it around, they’re fired, so with my vote, I’m firing him.”
McNamara said she believes with Mitt Romney’s private and public sector experience, he will do a better job of creating jobs. She said she wants to see the manufacturing jobs come back to High Point.
“This street used to be busy and now it has empty buildings and they’re for sale and this is slated as a revitalization area in High Point and I feel he can revitalize this country,” she said.
These two local companies are facing many of the same challenges in a global economy. Even though they’re supporting different candidates, the owners of each company said they are looking for solutions to bring more prosperity to small businesses.