What a bike shop, a tie store, and a brewery taught Hillary Clinton about small business.

Lessons from the campaign trail.

Hillary knows that we need to alleviate the burdens of starting and running a small business in America. It’s something she’s heard time and time again while listening to small-business owners on the trail.

Throughout our campaign, Hillary has visited with more than 100 small-business owners across the country to better understand the barriers that are holding them back today—and what solutions they need. We’ve been able to incorporate those lessons into smart, sensible public policy proposals. Take a look:

Bike Tech in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Bike Tech is a small bicycle repair shop. Since its founding, Bike Tech has grown and evolved based on customer suggestions, the experiences of Bike Tech staff, and thoughts from their peers in the retail community.

A month into her campaign, Hillary hosted a roundtable at Bike Tech, where a group of small-business owners talked about the challenges of getting a business up and running—and how the hardship of balancing student loan debt and start-up costs.

Applying lessons from her visit to her small-business plan:

  1. Cutting through red tape to streamline the process of starting a small business, because it shouldn’t take longer to start a small business in the United States than it does in Canada or Denmark. Hillary’s plan will offer state and local governments new federal incentives to cut excessive regulations and streamline unnecessary licensing to make it less costly to start a small business.
  2. Hillary’s plan also seeks to boost lending, by easing burdens for community banks and credit unions. The plan allows entrepreneurs to defer student loan payments with no interest while they get their ventures off the ground.

Knotty Ties in Denver, Colorado

Knotty Ties is a small business that manufactures handmade neckties, bowties, and scarves. They also help create employment opportunities for resettled refugees who otherwise lack opportunities to work in their trade—and have created partnerships with refugee and asylee agencies operating across Denver. All of their products are handmade in America.

Hillary visited Knotty Ties earlier this month and celebrated the company as an example of a small business that proudly makes its products in America—and the importance small businesses providing mentoring and training to underserved communities.

“I am very proud of what Jeremy and Mark have built here, what the designers and employees are doing here and the outreach to refugees and what that means to so many people’s lives,” Hillary remarked during her visit.

Applying lessons from her visit to her small-business plan:

  1. Expand access to working capital: Hillary’s plan will expand the Small Business Administration’s working capital guarantee programs and lowering working capital fees for businesses in underserved communities.
  2. Share stories of businesses like Knotty Ties to show that Donald Trump’s ugly rhetoric about American workers and businesses is wrong. And that unlike Donald Trump—who could choose to make products in America but doesn’t—we can make continue to make great products in America.

3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg, Florida

3 Daughters Brewing is a small brewery that makes Florida-inspired craft beers. Founders Mike and Leigh Harting actually named the brewery for their three little girls. As the brewery was being built, the common joke was, “How many beers do we have to sell to put three daughters through college?”

Hillary visited 3 Daughters Brewing in early August and talked about why it’s so important to consult successful small businesses to get firsthand information about what works and what doesn’t.

“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,” Hillary remarked during her visit.

Applying lessons from her visit to her small-business plan:

  1. Expand access to low-cost capital: Hillary’s plan streamline the SBA’s Small Business Investment Company program, which provides community venture capitalists and lenders with access to low-cost capital to invest in small businesses in their neighborhoods.
  2. Make the federal government is more responsive to small businesses. As president, Hillary will push federal agencies to make government more user-friendly and treat small businesses like the customer, including by guaranteeing a 24-hour response time to small business with questions about federal regulations and access to capital programs.
  3. Simplify and expand the health care tax credit for small employers in the Affordable Care Act. Hillary’s plan is focused on helping employers provide quality, affordable health care to their workers—allowing more small businesses to pool together to offer retirement plans, making it easier for small businesses to offer retirement accounts to their employees.

This is a fight that has always been personal for Hillary: Her father owned a small drapery business in Chicago, and it provided her family with a solid, middle-class life. She’s seen the struggles her father went through and knows that we have to level the playing field for America’s small businesses.

These are just a few of the lessons Hillary has learned from small businesses across the country. Read more about Hillary’s comprehensive plan to help small businesses.

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