S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen was in Rock Hill Wednesday on his statewide “small business listening tour.”
Over the past few weeks, the Kershaw Senator and democratic gubernatorial candidate says he has visited multiple Rock Hill small businesses to speak with owners, hear about challenges for small businesses in York County, and talk about his plan to support existing businesses within South Carolina to the level of those recruited from out of state.
“Governor Haley’s policies stack the deck against small business owners, and the recruitment-only approach to jobs is a one-way ticket to mediocrity,” Sheheen said. “As a small business owner and an attorney, I have helped scores of businesses succeed – and I look forward to continuing to talk with small business leaders around our state about how we can help our existing small businesses as much as those we’re recruit from out of state.”
Late Wednesday night, Governor Nikki Haley’s office reached out to WRHI, saying Sheheen’s premise is off-base.
“Vince Sheheen isn’t a small business owner, he’s a trial lawyer who has made his living suing businesses, who wants to hike taxes on all sorts of things like income and property, and force businesses to suffer through the massive increase in insurance costs that come with ObamaCare,” said Rob Godfrey, Gov. Haley’s spokesman.
“He can ‘listen’ to as many South Carolina small businesses as he wants to, but it won’t change the fact that his policies would be crushing to them and a huge setback to the gains our economy has made under Governor Haley,” Godfrey said.
Sheheen also wants to reduce property taxes on small businesses.
“I’m met with an overwhelming response with every business I talk to and they say, ‘we want our state government not just to focus on recruiting out of state companies, but to focus on how we can help businesses in South Carolina be successful,” Sheheen said.
Haley’s office says businesses in South Carolina have been successful, with more than 38,000 jobs announced in 45 counties during her tenure as governor.
If elected, Sheheen said he would create a Division of Entrepreneurship in Small Business within the S.C. Department of Commerce.
Sheheen, 42, is on a collision course for a rematch with Gov. Nikki Haley next fall.
Haley, elected in 2010, will be in Rock Hill Thursday speaking with seniors in Lake Wylie before a fundraising dinner in Rock Hill.