Hillary Rodham Clinton

Small Businesses and Creating Jobs in St. Petersburg, FL - Aug. 8, 2016

Hillary Rodham Clinton
August 08, 2016— St. Petersburg, Florida
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Thank you all so much! It is great to be back here in the coliseum of St. Pete! I was reminded that I was in the coliseum 20 years ago, this month. I am not new to this area or its concerns. It gives me great pleasure to be back here. Thank you so much, Mike and Leigh and everybody. I am excited about being here, and I so appreciate what Mike and Leigh took their time to tell me about. Because this company, which has grown pretty dramatically in the last four and a half years, is a great example of what it means to be a small business company that then grows and takes advantage of all the opportunities that are available.

And I was grateful when I asked both of them, "So what would you want me to do? What worked? What didn't?" that they gave me a terrific point of view. And just to quickly recap, because I agree with everything they said, they got a lot of help from the SBA— twice now— but they agree with me that the SBA is just not doing enough. It's not a— its mandate is not big enough; it doesn't include enough continuing help and outreach so that people with good ideas like they had know where to go, kind of a one-stop shop, if you will, to get all the information that they need. And I'm going to do everything I can to expand that mandate and to provide a much better conduit, to use Mike's term, of information coming to people starting their small businesses.

The second thing they said which was exciting is that when they first opened up their very first— what do they call those big silver things? Brew-house— their very first brew-house came from China. And then they found a local company not far from here who could do exactly the same thing, so all of these other brew-houses are made right here, about four or five miles right down the street. BrewFab, right? BrewFab. So that's another thing I'm pushing, is for companies to look to see if there aren't American suppliers who can actually provide what they need in order to have a great partnership. And I'm thrilled that what you see here illustrates that.

The third thing they told me is they had a great experience with the State Department, which I was very happy to hear, because when I was Secretary of State I really stressed exports, and you can't do exports unless you have an active group of people who are reaching out once again, trying to come up with support for businesses.

And my dad was a small businessman, a very, very small business that he started and ran, so I was particularly keen that we not just help the giant American corporations but we help the small businesses, the medium-sized businesses. And Mike told me that he had a great experience on a State Department-sponsored visit to Costa Rica, right? To Costa Rica?

And that's exactly what I want to see more of too, because you can't just expect to compete and win in the global economy by waiting for it to come to you, and you can't do it on your own, so it's really important to me that the government does more to help companies like 3 Daughters get out into the world so that their products can be given an equal chance to compete and win. Because I know that if we do that, nobody can outcompete American workers and businesses. We just have to be out there doing everything possible to make it reality.

And then the final thing that I picked up from talking to both of them is how committed they are to their employees, but how they could sure use some help finding out what are all of the benefits and opportunities that are available through the federal government— through the tax system, for example. How can we do a better job making sure that small companies like this have the help they need to understand everything that they have to do and cut the costs and streamline it. So, for example, they were telling me that if they could get a kind of package of help— because right now, employees spend a lot of time figuring out excise tax, which is pretty complicated, and I want to try to blow through all that, simplify it, flatten it, make it possible for companies like this to get the information.

And they came up with a really good suggestion: people who register LLCs, if they're going to have employees, they should immediately get a package of information, like here's how you can get help understanding what you have to do to register in different jurisdictions to pay taxes in different jurisdictions and the like. As much as we can simplify and use technology to simplify, the cheaper then it will be for companies like this to be successful and to grow as quickly as this one has.

So I feel like I've learned a lot today. I really appreciate your being so well prepared to give me these great ideas that I can then try to take and put to work on behalf of businesses like yours and businesses across the country. Because it really is true that I feel a special bond with small businesses, and I have said that I want to be a small business president because of my dad's experience, and this is one of the big differences between me and the Republican nominee. My dad worked really hard.

He ran a small print plant so that in a much lower-ceilinged, darker room, he had long tables that he would roll fabric out on and then he would take a silkscreen— and he would do all this by hand— you put the silkscreen down, you put the paint in, you take a squeegee, you go from side to side and then you pick it up and you go down all the way to the end of the long table, then you'd go to the other table, so that while this table was drying then you'd come up and if there was a two-color pattern, you'd put another silkscreen on and you'd do it all over again.

So he worked really hard and made a good living for my mother, my brothers and me, and that's why I just can't imagine— he worked so hard— if he had delivered the finished goods to the people who had ordered them, that they would have said, "We're not going to pay you." And that's what Trump has done time and time again. It would be like you'd get a big order from one of his resorts or casinos. That would be pretty exciting here. And people would work really hard.

And then they wouldn't pay you. Or maybe they'd say, we're only going to pay you 50 cents or 30 cents on the dollar. I just can't imagine. I know what it would mean to my family, but I can't imagine what it would mean to any family. And in fact, just recently there— most people who are in that position that I've met who have been stiffed by him, they were told, "Well, go sue us." Well, people can't afford to sue somebody who hires a bunch of lawyers in order to fight back. It just doesn't make sense.

But there was a small mom-and-pop shop down in South Florida that did sue him because they had helped renovate one of his golf courses. And they knew that if they didn't get paid, it was over for them. They couldn't keep their doors open. So they did sue him, and they got a judgment, and then they even got attorneys' fees. So maybe the tide is turning because I've met painters and plumbers and glass installers and marble installers and architects and piano companies that have been operating under a contract which then was never honored.

And the most fundamental thing in our economic system is you make a contract. You make a deal with somebody. You keep your end of the bargain. They keep their end of the bargain. That's how we do business, and that's how we're going to continue to grow small businesses in America. Because I think Mike told me that there are 52 employees, 18 full-time. Right?

Small businesses create most of the jobs in America, two-thirds. So we can't grow the economy if we don't really grow small businesses. And I'm going to do everything I can in this campaign and then in the White House to be a great president for small business, and to consult people like Mike and Leigh who can give me firsthand, real information about what works and what doesn't work so that we don't get this big disconnect where you're trying to do something, and it's just not working.

And the final thing that make said, which I am going to be doing everything I can, is to get health care costs down. We've got a lot of people who are insured now because of the Affordable Care Act, but the costs are too high. We need to get prescription drug costs down and premiums and copays and all of the costs because other companies have told me the very same thing. And so I'm going to be working hard on that as well.

So again, let me thank you for having us here. I want to say hello to everybody, maybe get some pictures if you wanted to, and have a chance— if anybody has any other ideas about how we're going to promote and grow small businesses. And again, Leigh was telling me about the meaning of the flags here as well, and I bet in a few years you're going to have flags hanging from every part of this ceiling as a real tribute to the people who have served our country. And I greatly appreciate that as well.

Thank you all very much.