The Democratic Convention: Here Are the Biggest Takeaways for Small Business Owners

Date: July 29, 2016 Last Edit: August 02, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s historic night, rallying cries to oppose Donald Trump and much, much more—here’s what happened during the convention.

“Don’t boo. Vote.” 

This was Pres. Barack Obama’s response to the Democratic audience who booed a mention of Donald Trump during his speech on the third night of the Democratic National Convention. It also captured the overall theme of the convention as Democrats attempted to rile up enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. 

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Over the course of its four-day run, the Democratic Convention saw an emotional close to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, a slew of high-profile speakers, lots of Donald Trump bashing, and most importantly—the Democratic plan for small business. 

The convention got off to a rocky start as some diehard “Bernie or bust” delegates refused to heed Sanders’ call to rally behind Clinton as the party’s nominee, even going so far as to boo Sanders for making his plea for party unity. By the end of the night, the convention’s tone became more positive. 

First Lady Michelle Obama closed out the night, and her impassioned speech drew bipartisan praise for emphasizing that this election is a choice about who will be better for future generations. 

On the second day, Democratic delegates officially nominated Clinton as the party’s presidential nominee, making her the first woman presidential nominee in history. Clinton addressed the delegation via video message, saying, “We just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet.” 


Then, former Pres. Bill Clinton spoke about his relationship with Hillary—from their early courtship all the way to the White House—and he touted her commitment to New York small business owners while in the Senate. 

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean also spoke, contrasting Hillary’s promise to expand the Affordable Care Act with Trump’s desire to repeal it. 

The third day of the convention saw, among others, addresses from Vice President Joe Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine, and finally, the president himself. It’s also where attacks on Trump’s small business record heated up. 

Bloomberg said Trump would “make it harder for small businesses to compete,” Business Insider reported

A fired-up Biden tore into Trump’s reality television roots and claimed Trump doesn’t care about working-class people such as small business owners. “This guy doesn’t have a clue about the middle class,” Biden said. 

More history was made on the final night of the convention, when Clinton formally accepted her party’s nomination to become the first female presidential nominee. During her speech, she talked about her middle-class upbringing and her grandfather’s 50-year career working in a Scranton, Pennsylvania, lace mill. She also previewed her plans for small business.

“In my first 100 days, we will work with both parties to pass the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II,” Clinton said. “Jobs in manufacturing, clean energy, technology and innovation, small business and infrastructure.”

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She also painted Trump as an enemy to small business.

“In Atlantic City, 60 miles from here, you’ll find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills,” she said. 

With conventions in the rearview mirror, Clinton and Trump will hit the campaign trail until the election on Nov. 8. Clinton will be in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on July 29 and Pittsburgh on July 30. Trump will be campaigning in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, on July 29.

Here are some more sound bites from Democratic speakers and what they had to say about small business issues: 

Bill Clinton

“[Hillary Clinton] became the de facto economic development officer for the area outside of New York City. She worked for farmers, for wine-makers, for small businesses, and manufacturers.” 

Howard Dean 

“Hillary has a plan to drive down healthcare costs. Hillary has a plan to stand up to the drug companies and lower prescription drug prices. And Hillary has a plan to take us that last mile and finally achieve healthcare for all.” 

Tim Kaine 

“My dad ran a union iron-working shop in the stockyards. And my mom was his best salesman. My two brothers and I pitched in to work during the summers and weekends. And, you know, that is how small family businesses do it.”

On his time as governor of Virginia: “We achieved national recognition for our work, best-managed state, best state for business, best state for a child to be raised, low unemployment, high median income.

Joe Biden 

“[Donald Trump] doesn’t have a clue about the middle class.” 

“When the middle class does well, the rich do very well, and the poor have hope.” 

Pres. Barack Obama 

“Hillary Clinton knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes—what’s at stake for the working family, for the senior citizen, or the small business owner, for the soldier, for the veteran.” 

Hillary Clinton 

“We’re going to help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it. We’re going to give small businesses a boost. Make it easier to get credit. Way too many dreams die in the parking lots of banks.”

“People who did the work and needed the money, and didn’t get it—not because [Donald Trump] couldn’t pay them, but because he wouldn’t pay them. He just stiffed them. That sales pitch he is making to be your president? Put your faith in him, and you’ll win big? That’s the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses.”

*Note: This news coverage does not equate to an endorsement of any candidate by NFIB.

Photo credit: Barbara Kinney for Hillary for America

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