For one business owner, President Obama's reelection isn't just a political victory, it's a business win as well.
Mary Alford, the owner of a Florida architecture and engineering firm that specializes in sustainable design, says her business is poised to double or triple over the next four years thanks to Obama’s win. Alford says she expects that Obama’s reelection will mean an uptick “environmental patriotism” -- or support for policies that protect the environment and advocate sustainability, which will be a boon for her business.
Alford started The Sustainable Design Group five years ago and has grown it to six employees in that short time -- growth she attributes in part to Obama’s reign.
“He addresses global climate change and he addresses sustainability and by addressing those things I will be directly affected," Alford said of Obama. "We’re all concerned about all of our resources right now in a tighter economy. Sustainability is going to be about doing it right the first time and I believe that he supports that in his attitude towards business."
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Alford’s comments counter a recent din of business owners claiming Obama’s reelection -- and more specifically Obamacare -- will force them to cut back. Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter claimed that the increased cost of health care reform will force him to charge between 11 and 14 more cents per pizza, as well as cut back the hours of some of his workers. In addition, Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, laid off 160 workers last week, citing the president’s win, though the coal industry of which Murray is a part is likely on the decline for reasons other than Obama’s policies.
Of company heads that are blaming restructuring on Obama’s win, Alford has this to say: “They must have not had a very good business plan to begin with.”
Alford added that for some small businesses, like her own, Obamacare may likely lower the cost of insuring employees. Before the law, the cost of insuring her workers was “outrageously high," she said. Though many small business owners say they're likely to trim benefits as a result of Obamacare, according to an October survey, most are unlikely to take drastic steps in response to the law.
“Not all of us small business owners think it’s a bad thing,” she said.
Alford said she’s also pleased that Obama won because a Romney victory last week would have put her business’ trajectory in jeopardy. During the 2012 campaign, groups aligned with climate change skeptics and fossil fuel interests spent hundreds of millions of dollars in an aim to elect Romney.
“I had already considered how I might restructure some of the ways I promoted my business,” she said. “I was worried that if he was elected the word sustainable would become an ugly word and I wouldn't get considered for other contracts.”