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October 31, 2012

Job creation advice for candidates from business owners

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Three Maine businesses. From the smallest of the small, to a longtime family retailer, to a high-tech precision machine shop.

What happens in Washington affects them all.

Wick Johnson owns Kennebec Technologies in Augusta where 65 skilled employees make precision machine parts for airliners, the aerospace industry and the semi conductor field. He says the biggest thing stifling and job creation is the same thing that Senator Olympia Snowe says forced her to leave Washington, partisan bickering and the inaction of our elected leaders.

"So many of these things have been looming for so long whether its what we do with social security, national health care, it's time to make decisions one way or the other so people can make plans based on them", he said.

Jim Wellehan wants to know where taxes are headed. His father started Lamey Wellehan shoes back in 1914. With 6 stores throughout Maine, he has 75 employees. Wellehan would like to see our next elected officials work on making the tax code more fair for small businesses.

"When you've got large companies that are so in this country, Google for example pays a 6% tax rate and that's just not fair. There are many big companies, when you've got corporate ownership that's so embedded in Washington, it's got to be changed, resisted", he said.

Wellehan says his and other small businesses pay upwards of 20-percent on taxes.

You don't get much smaller than Veneer Services Unlimited in Kennebunk. The 3 employees here make custom veneer products, thin surface panels of wood used by cabinet makers, furniture manufacturers and boat builders. Owner John Costin says the collapse of the housing market made things tough for the business.

"We need to resolve our mortgage crisis, because that's got people not spending. Anything that improves the housing market is going to improve that, certainly in our business", he said.

The businesses do agree on one thing. It's all about attitude. If Washington gets it's own house in order, passes responsible and takes action to reduce the deficit, then everyone will have more confidence. It's consumer confidence that drives our economy.