Hillary Clinton wants to be a 'small business president'

It's not exactly a controversial bandwagon - but Clinton's support could help British entrepreneurs too.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 22 May 2015

US White House wannabe Hillary Clinton wants to be a ‘small business president’. Not the most controversial of policy positions in any country – as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias put it, it’s ‘like having a favorable attitude toward Mom or apple pie’ – but good news for small businesses both sides of the pond.

Clinton made the comment in her first LinkedIn post, as part of a carefully choreographed campaign around the issue including photo ops with small business owners in key states, one of whom took over the former Secretary of State’s Twitter.

The post predictably begins, ‘When I was growing up, my father owned a small business,’ (reminding Americans the ultimate Washington insider started out an outsider) and concludes with that worn cliche, ‘small businesses are the backbone of our economy’. Her ‘Four Ways to Jump-Start Small Business’ – cutting red tape, expanding access to capital, simpler tax relief and increasing access to new markets – are also eerily familiar.

It’s not surprising in an increasingly global world that British small businesses face similar bugbears to their US counterparts. And our politicians, like American ones, are notorious for promising and failing to fix them (business rates is the classic example).

But even if hot-favourite Clinton fails in her quest to become Leader of the Free World, or gets into the Oval Office and then promptly forgets about the entrepreneurs who helped put her there, the star-spangled dust she is sprinkling on the issue is still welcome.

Meanwhile, British politicians love to rub shoulders with presidents and prospective ones and pretend the ‘special relationship’ is still a thing. So if Clinton continues to make entrepreneurs the centerpiece of her campaign that could set off yet more harping about small companies being the spine of our society. But as long as that translates into action, MT can forgive a few clichés.

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