NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press has been interviewing small business owners for weeks about the presidential election, their companies and the economy. Small business is an important part of most political campaigns. Small business owners create jobs and are often influencers in their local communities. With so much concern about job creation after the recession, both presidential campaigns paid extra attention to the small business community and made a case for why their candidate was the best choice for small companies.
Now that President Barack Obama has defeated challenger Mitt Romney to win a second term, we checked back in with some owners we had talked to previously and reached out to some new ones to find out how they feel about the election and what's next for their businesses. Here's what they had to say:
REID STONE, HERO FARM
Reid Stone says he doesn't think that either candidate would have made a difference to the success of his marketing and advertising company, Hero Farm, or the economy. But he says that his clients might think so.
With Obama holding onto his job, clients who supported Romney may be more uncertain about the future, Stone says. If that's the case, they may respond by spending less.
"The first thing that gets cut is marketing and advertising," says Stone.
If clients are nervous, history tells Stone that they'll tend to stick with marketing plans they're more comfortable with, such as billboards, rather than trying unconventional tactics like creating a website in hopes that it will become a social media sensation. "They may be less inclined to pay for guerilla marketing tactics," Stone says.
He says Hero Farm, launched in 2008 during the recession, will have to work harder and be more aggressive about reaching out to companies with advertising ideas to gain new clients. "We've worked very hard in the last four years," he says. "We're still going to work just as hard."
JAI MANSELLE, MANSELLE MEDIA
Jai Manselle says he is certain that the economy will keep improving under President Barack Obama's second term.
"I think we'll keep on recovering at a moderate speed," says Manselle, who started the Newport News, Va. -based brand development and public relations company in 2007.
Most of Manselle Media's clients are in the sports, fashion and music industries. He thinks the recovery will help consumers become more confident, pushing them to buy more of his client's products. Then his clients will have more money to spend on advertising and branding campaigns.
"Hopefully this will put more certainty in the market," says Manselle.
JOE FOX, DITTOTRADE.COM
Joe Fox voted for Mitt Romney, but he isn't upset that his candidate didn't win. He's optimistic that after President Barack Obama settles into his second term, things will improve.
"I believe the economy is getting better," says Fox, who launched Chicago-based DittoTrade.com, an online brokerage firm that lets customers follow others' stock trades, in 2010. "I think that the last half of 2013 is going to be stronger."