Make us your home page
Instagram

Paul Ryan stumps in Tampa about importance of entrepreneurial spirit

TAMPA — Four years ago, Thomie Holloway voted for President Barack Obama. She was optimistic about her new business manufacturing portable storage units and hopeful that his policies would help her prosper.

In this election, she's voting for Mitt Romney.

"Governor Romney knows about small businesses,'' she said. "All Obama does is give a cursory overview of his plans. I have $6 million in orders ready to go, but I can't get the funding.''

Holloway was in Tampa on Friday to hear Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan speak at a private roundtable discussion on entrepreneurship at the University of South Florida. As a small business owner, she said, his plans make fiscal sense.

Ryan visited USF to tour the Tampa Bay Technology Incubator and meet with small business owners and students from the school's Center for Entrepreneurship. The incubator works with about 30 start-up businesses to provide office space, equipment, mentoring, staffing and other services they need to succeed and grow. USF has had 98 patents issued this year and 650 overall.

"This is the engine of economic opportunity,'' said Ryan, praising the center's success in taking ideas and bringing them to the marketplace. "But we're having some issues right now. The economy isn't growing anywhere near what it should be. We're very worried that more and more people are slipping further behind.''

Helping entrepreneurs requires going back to the basics, he said. He outlined three main requirements for expanding the economy: lowering the tax rate, curbing the debt crisis and reducing government regulations.

Ryan criticized the Obama administration for the country's anemic 1.3 percent annual growth. If elected, he said, Romney could grow the economy 4 percent a year and create 12 million jobs.

The Obama campaign has credited the president with creating 4.5 million jobs, a better track record than his predecessor, former President George W. Bush. Obama has said reducing the nation's debt can't happen without asking for more from the wealthy. Messages left with the Obama press office were not returned.

One of the panelists, home builder Carlos Beruff, said overlapping regulations at the local, state and federal levels make it nearly impossible for an entrepreneur to enter the business. He got started 28 years ago using $12,000 from his IRA but can't imagine trying to do that today.

"We shouldn't make it so difficult for people to get into our business,'' he said. "We're building homes, not nuclear power plants.''

Michael Fountain, the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, said whoever gets elected needs to focus on the needs and challenges facing emerging businesses because "without (that support), there's no growth.'' Ryan's visit to USF proves that their efforts are making an impact on job creation and economic development, he said.

Paul Ryan stumps in Tampa about importance of entrepreneurial spirit 10/19/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 1:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Philanthropist Helen DeVos, wife of Orlando Magic owner and mother of Betsy, dies at 90

    Obituaries

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Helen J. DeVos, a philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children's health, Christian education and the arts, has died at age 90, her family said Thursday.

    Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, left, waves to fans while watching court side with his wife, Helen, during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Orlando. The family of Helen DeVos said the philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children's health, Christian education and the arts has died. She was 90. Her family said she died Wednesday, Oct. 18, of complications from a stroke following a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia. [Associated Press]
  2. SeaWorld cuts 350 jobs across company, including in Orlando

    Business

    ORLANDO — SeaWorld, which has struggled with declining attendance, announced Wednesday it is cutting 350 positions.

    Kalia, a 12-year-old orca whale, during rehearsals for the upcoming Orca Encounter at SeaWorld San Diego, on May 18, 2017. [Howard Lipin | San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. As Clearwater Marine Aquarium expands, it asks the city for help

    Growth

    CLEARWATER — When Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates saw an architect's initial design for the facility's massive expansion project, he told them to start all over.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium Veterinarian Shelly Marquardt (left), Brian Eversole, Senior Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biologist (middle) and Devon Francke, Supervisor of Sea Turtle Rehab, are about to give a rescued juvenile green sea turtle, suffering from a lot of the Fibropapillomatosis tumors, fluids at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday afternoon. Eventually when the turtle is healthy enough the tumors will be removed with a laser and after it is rehabilitated it will be released back into the wild.  -  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is launching a $66 million renovation to expand its facilities to take in injured animals and space to host visitors. The aquarium is asking the city for a $5 million grant Thursday to help in the project. American attitudes toward captive animals are changing. Sea World is slipping after scrutiny on the ethics of captive marine life. But CEO David Yates says CMA is different, continuing its mission of rehab and release, it's goal is to promote education, not exploitation. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times

  4. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times
 file photo]

  5. Tampa Chamber of Commerce announces small business winners

    Business

    TAMPA — The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce selected the winners of the 2017 Small Business of the Year Awards at a ceremony Wednesday night at the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. More than 600 attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Tampa Bay's small business community.

    Vincent Cassidy, president and CEO of Majesty Title Services, was named Outstanding Small Business Leader of the Year by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.