• Schuyler Windham

Support Lincoln Local Business in Economic Recovery

After nearly two years of pandemic, Lincoln's local businesses have suffered tremendously. I've spoken with many small business owners both in and outside of my district who tell me everyday how they love being a small business owner and also how difficult it has become to do business in Lincoln.

Her business deserves a chance...

"I love working for myself," a young business owner told me. She recently took the initiative of starting her own business and is sharing her skills and talents with people who need her services. Her business deserves a chance to flourish.

Reducing my tax burdens AND legalizing marijuana?

I recently met Josh, a 30 year old business owner at 'One More Bar' near my home in district LD 26 Northeast Lincoln. He told me he was in the construction and real estate business, both which are highly regulated and where he felt the tax burden was getting too high to do business in Lincoln. I told him I was the only candidate in his area who supported both reducing his tax burden and regulations to do business while at the same time legalizing marijuana and reforming the criminal justice system which he also cared deeply about. As more of an independent voter, he was really interested in libertarianism as he wasn't very impressed by mainstream Democrats and Republicans who he didn't feel were helping him. I told him, "I will win my campaign and we will make a real difference in the Unicameral together." He was excited to take one of our window signs for his house and even got a libertarian t-shirt which says: 'regulate government, not your neighbors.' Let's help small business owners like Josh!

"We do everything they tell us to... We WANT to keep our employees and customers safe! But they still harass small businesses like ours. What more are we supposed to do...?"

My old friend is from a family of immigrants and owns a successful Lincoln restaurant. He told me how he followed all the safety recommendations and really cared about his team. The county health department would call to 'inform' him of covid-19 cases and harass him about following safety protocols. He was so frustrated because he already took care of his employees, making sure they stayed home when they were sick and ensuring they were healthy when they returned to work. They were part of his business family -- he cared more about their well-being than the government did. In order to make ends meet and innovate around the pandemic, he was investing in a new food truck, but he faced a lot of burdensome regulations around this project as well.

This sentiment was echoed when I spoke to a downtown bar manager several months before deciding to run for office. I was having a few drinks with a friend and we got to talking with the bar manager who was bartending that evening about how their brewery was doing. He told me: "We do everything they tell us to. We want to keep our employees and customers safe! But they still harass small businesses like ours. What more are we supposed to do?" I told him that most businesses are trying to do the right thing and shouldn't be fined or harassed while they and their employees are already hurting. He agreed.

He then proceeded to tell me about the discriminatory and nonsensical practices of the DHMs. "They treat businesses differently if they are a restaurant or a bar for no reason," he explained, frustrated. "But the way they drafted the DHM, if you serve food even if you don't have a kitchen, you should be exempt. We serve food here sometimes but don't have a kitchen. We called to confirm that we were exempt from one portion of the DHM but they lied and said we weren't exempt because we didn't have a kitchen. That's not what the DHM said but that's how they wanted to enforce it."

We need to put an end to the county health department's discriminatory and authoritarian directed health measures which are harming our local businesses!

Your job is 'non-essential' vs. "I wouldn't have been able to pay my bills..."

It's not just small business owners who suffer from these terrible policies. It's also the Lincoln residents these businesses employ. At the beginning of the pandemic, one of my friends worked as a server at a corporate chain restaurant. They put her on to-go orders so she couldn't make enough to pay her bills and the department of labor insisted she wouldn't be able to collect unemployment as she was currently 'employed.'

So she left that job and instead worked as a server for a local tavern which wasn't afraid to resist the DHMs to keep it's employees on payroll and serve their community. As a neighborhood tavern, customers who felt comfortable going out continued to patron the business and my friend was able to work enough hours, pay her bills, save up, pursue an education and now the career of her dreams.

The government officials who safely got to work from home told many people during this pandemic that their jobs were "non-essential" and then left Lincoln families to fend for themselves. Your job is essential to you. Your livelihood is essential to your family. The government has no business telling you when and where you can and can't work.

Lincoln is done with these discriminatory and destructive DHMs.

We deserve a Nebraska State Senator who actually cares about Lincoln families trying to make ends meet, who actually supports our local businesses and economy.

Vote Schuyler Windham who is Northeast Lincoln proud and Nebraska strong!

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