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Lynch says he fears long-term future for his business, hopes Blunt can help
Lynch says he fears long-term future for his business, hopes Blunt can help

Roy Blunt speaks to Steve Lynch at his small business forum held at Lynch's Furniture.

SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (July 8, 2010) — Steve Lynch routinely combines furniture sales with fiery oratory supporting the Waynesville-St. Robert area, and during Wednesday’s appearance by U.S. Senate candidate Roy Blunt at his store, Lynch said something must be done to change national economic policies if small businesses are to thrive or even survive in the future.

Lynch, whose grandfather founded the business in 1942 shortly after Fort Leonard Wood began as a training post for soldiers headed to World War II, is a former president of the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce and his family were among the founders and former mayors of St. Robert. However, he said he’s no longer sure his business has a long-term future.

“I am a third-generation furniture guy and proud of it. There aren’t many third generations of anything anymore, but the question that I’ve got today, the question that I’ve had for the last year, is will my small business go to the fourth generation,” Lynch said. “You know me and I am a fearless businessperson … yet I have found myself afraid for my business’s future. Not so much immediately but down the road when I think of all of the money that our government is spending, as a businessman I know that money has to be paid back someday.”

Lynch noted that as a small business owner, he knows that health care costs, utility increases due to cap and trade, the banking crisis and the credit crunch are major problems.

“We need leadership that it literally financially responsible, leadership that understands that big government is not the answer,” Lynch said. “Government has its place for abuses that are taking place, but the place for government is not on the backs of small business. We need leadership that understands that small businesses should be partners with our government and just not sources of revenue.”

Lynch challenged Blunt to act and not merely talk about helping small businesses.

“It aggravates me to death that we hear people small about small businesses all the time, how we are the backbone of the economy, but the only time they talk to us is when they want taxes from us,” Lynch said. “What I am saying today is echoed in every conversation I have with every small businessperson that I come across. We need leadership that will listen.”

Blunt agreed with many of Lynch’s points during his comments at the small business roundtable.

“Steve, I don’t know that anybody has given a better talk about family business and small business. Without any notes or anything, you actually hit every topic that people are talking about,” Blunt said, citing utility bills, health insurance and taxes as examples.

“They’re all big obstacles and if you don’t know what the rules are you aren’t nearly as likely to play the game of free enterprise,” Blunt said.

Speaking after Blunt left, Lynch said he’s met the candidate several times in the past but doesn’t know him personally and wanted to hear what he would say when Blunt’s staff members asked if he could host a small business roundtable.

“Small businesses are in trouble … I was just appreciative of the fact that they asked and they want to hear and they are looking at job creation,” Lynch said, noting that he brought together a group of business owners ranging from printers, bankers, real estate people, developers, and car dealers, as well as his own furniture business.

“Small business is of course my life. I don’t hear us being asked very much. They talk a lot about us but they don’t talk to us very often, so I jumped at the chance to have this event,” Lynch said. “One of the things I think is the biggest benefit of having an event like this is just when people gather together and they figure out that we’ve all got the same concerns … If we get it brought up enough, maybe somebody will start looking at them and start doing something about it.”

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