Danny Wright, owner of Danny’s Auto Tags, credits President Barack Obama’s administration with helping his business grow and expand.
“As a small businessman who has been around a long time, I’ve seen the ups and downs in our economy, and it got a point to where my business began to fluctuate, but because the president empowered small businesses with tax cuts it has helped me tremendously,” says Wright, whose business specializes in automotive titling and certification.
Wright has benefited from President Obama’s Small Business Jobs Act — which made 4.5 million small businesses eligible for a larger tax break on new investments in equipment and machinery. The provision allowed Wright to expense 100 percent of a recent $20,000 investment he made in equipment to expand his operation.
According to the Obama administration, the Small Business Jobs Act also supported more than $12 billion in small business loans, 21 percent of which went to minority-owned businesses. Wright has been able to access a credit line of $150,000 from a local bank, and due to tax cuts six of his employees have received pay raises.
Wright, who has been in business almost 24 years, says the success of a business goes beyond the policies of the president. He says it’s important to consider factors such as a business’ location, the business owner’s training and how the business is being marketed. Throughout the years, Wright has assisted other auto tag agency owners in getting their businesses up and running.
“I’ve been around, and I’ve seen a lot of business like mine come and go. Number one, we have to remind ourselves that everyone that opens up a business doesn’t succeed, and that has nothing to do with the president,” says Wright, who has two locations, 88 Sparks Street and 7184 Ogontz Avenue.
One aspect that has been critical to the longevity of Danny’s Auto Tags is being located where its services are in demand.
“Locality and everything makes a difference. Some people say, ‘I’m going to open up a business,’ but they haven’t done their homework. They haven’t gotten out there and done the footwork,” Wright pointed out.
Wright’s business has also been instrumental in helping Philadelphia residents register to vote.
He is one of several small business owners who are sharing their story to highlight Obama’s support for American small businesses.
Paulette Beale, owner of Paul Beale’s Florist, says she does not blame Obama for the state of the economy and challenges facing small businesses. During 2008 and 2009, the florist shop saw a dip in sales.
“I’m not one of those who put in on the Obama administration. I can’t say that whatever is going wrong is because of the Obama administration. I say this because when President Obama was elected, we were having a hard time. We were having a hard time when President Bush was in office. We are doing better than we were three or four years ago,” says Beale.
Beale’s parents, Paul and Altermese Beale, opened the florist shop at 7220 Ogontz Avenue in May 1971 with a Small Business Administration loan.
Despite the challenges, the family-operated business has been a mainstay for 41 years
“It hasn’t always been easy. We do have to make sacrifices,” says Beale.
“We try to give the customers good service and a quality product — and pray that they keep coming back.”
Beale thinks the president could accomplish more if Congress were willing to work with him and get more legislation passed. She says one of the things that would benefit small businesses is if they had more access to loans. While she hasn’t had to apply for a business loan, Beale says it’s important that other business owners have better access to capital.
She would like to see Obama re-elected.
“We want him to get back in office. I don’t think that he’s finished what he needs to do or what he has started. We remain optimistic,” she added.
With Election Day less than 100 days away, the Obama administration has been highlighting its strides in assisting small businesses — which include reducing health care costs, boosting financial resources, helping businesses access federal contracts and promoting startups and entrepreneurs.
Since 2009, under Obama’s leadership, the Small Business Administration has supported more than 150,000 small businesses with nearly $80 billion in loans — a record for 7(a) and 504 program lending. The SBA has supported more than $9 billion in loans for small businesses in Pennsylvania.
According to the administration, Obama has cut taxes for small business owners 18 times and signed into law $200 billion in tax relief and incentives that benefited American businesses over the last three years to encourage them to create jobs and invest in growth.
To help more small businesses access federal contracts, Obama created a partnership program that pairs small businesses with larger firms to help them compete for business. Since 2009, the Obama administration has awarded nearly $300 billion in federal prime contracts to small businesses.
Under the Obama administration, national start-up creation went up by nearly 20,000 new businesses during the first two years of the president’s term.