October 03, 2012BERLIN — White Mountain Lumber Company co-owner Mark Kelley proudly introduced former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland on Thursday morning at the sawmill, drive-through lumber yrd and Ace Hardware retail store that he and his brother Barry own and operate on East Milan Road. "I want to welcome Gov. Strickland; he's a big advocate for American-made goods and American jobs, and we appreciate him being here to campaign for President Barack Obama's reelection," Kelley said. Strickland, who served as governor in Ohio from 2007 to 2011, is a national co-chair of the Obama campaign.
"I want to remind everyone where our economy stood in 2009," Kelley said. "It's no secret that our economy was then in crisis. American workers were losing their jobs in numbers not seen in over three decades.
"We needed someone to act, and our President acted. In response to the economic crisis, President Obama cut taxes for small businesses; he helped small businesses access credit; and he proposed the American Jobs Act to create jobs by making it easier for small businesses hire and grow.
"Today, thanks to the President's actions and the hard work of American workers across the country, our economy is coming back. We've seen 30 consecutive months of private sector job growth — 4.6 million jobs in total, Kelley said.
Katie Delahaye Paine, who is now Chief Marketing Officer of News Group in Dubai, U.A.E., also touted the efforts that Obama has made to turn things around for small businesses.
"I am the proud founder of KDPaine & Partners, a small technology-oriented communications measurement firm that I founded 10 years ago and moved here (to Berlin) in 2006, now located at 295 School Street.
"The story of my small business is similar to those of small businesses across the country," Paine said. "The financial crisis that overtook the country in 2008 reached our front doors in a severe fashion. Months where we used to work around the clock were eerily quiet, as companies of all sizes cut back on outside contracts during the economic downturn.
"Fortunately, we were able to weather the storm, and then in 2010, as President Obama's economic policies began to take hold, we began to see a turnaround. Although it started slowly, before we knew it, the phones were ringing off the hook. From 2010 to 2011, our business grew by 44 percent. On a single Friday in the summer of 2011, we landed six new clients.
"In the past year, I've hired seven new employees, bringing the total number jobs to 20 – all, I might add with health insurance, thanks in part to the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit," she said.
"Why change horses in mid-stream?" asked Strickland rhetorically. Obama has focused on small businesses, the former governor said, recognizing that two out of three new jobs are created by small business. "We had a long way to come back," he said. Strickland urged Granite Staters to get out and voted, pointing out that the Obama-Romney race would liken tighten as Election Day approached and that New Hampshire's electoral votes could make the difference between the president winning and losing his reelection bid.