Small businesses not only represent the American dream, we employ millions of hardworking Americans and account for nearly half of the country’s GDP. When election season rolls around, political candidates love to talk about their support for Main Street America. Campaign talk is nice, but small businesses here in Louisiana are sick of it because our successes are in spite of the government, not because of it. It’s evident that Washington isn’t listening to Main Street because the overburdening federal regulations and costs keep flooding in, making it harder than ever to expand our businesses and create more jobs.

“Obamacare” is a prime example. The cost to provide health care to employees has nearly doubled, and the taxes and compliance issues that come along with the law have been a huge financial burden. Additionally, new energy policies and regulations disproportionately affect small businesses. Policies designed to boost small businesses are being cast aside and new ones with the opposite effect are set to take their place.

Right now, more than 3,000 new federal regulations are being pushed through a political pipeline already clogged with obstacles to small business success. The new regulations would affect nearly every part of a small business owner’s operating activities. In a recent survey by the National Federation for Independent Business, more than 20 percent of small business owners listed government requirements and red tape as their single biggest problem. Adding thousands more clearly isn’t going to help.

It’s clear that many politicians are more concerned with large corporations and politics than the viability of small businesses. Therefore, we’re not going to listen to campaign talk anymore. If you haven’t supported small business and workers in the past, then you’re not going to start now. The small business community is filled with uncertainty and we want to know what candidates plan on doing to fix this.

That’s why I’m voting for Bill Cassidy to represent Louisiana in the Senate. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu voted against repealing “Obamacare” and against protecting small businesses from higher taxes. She made a clear decision to value special interests in Washington over small businesses in Louisiana, and it’s time for change. Representative Bill Cassidy, on the other hand, has been a strong supporter in the House, with a 97 percent record of voting with small business. It’s not just talk; he has a long, proven track record of supporting small business, and we need his voice — and action — in the Senate.

It’s more important than ever to get out and vote in what may be the closest U.S. Senate race ever. Louisiana’s small business community is the backbone of the economy and No. 1 job creator, but we won’t succeed without elected officials who will fight for policies in Washington that benefit small businesses and workers here in Louisiana.

John Overton

Turn Key Solutions

Baton Rouge