Don't help us
Don't help us
Drew Oliver
Owner of GiantMicrobes, which makes humorous educational items, in Stamford, Conn.

Our business is growing nicely. Our sales are doubling every year. We're introducing new products. We've entered new countries like Russia, and hopefully Japan in the fall.

The good news is that we're still finding demand for our products. From a revenue perspective, we also have the money to add more jobs. But the question for us is this: Is it safer for us to keep the cash in these uncertain economic times than to invest it in more staff?

I'd like to hire up to a dozen more people if I know that the risk of doing that would pay off. Right now, there's a lot of uncertainty about the economy.

Small businesses face a cumbersome regulatory environment. Regulations need to be streamlined. [Editor's note: Following the recall of millions of toy products in 2007 and 2008 for lead and other issues, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates the toy industry, significantly toughened its testing standards for toys. This requires multiples layers of testing for each new product.]

We have to undertake relentless testing of every new product before we market them. When we have products shipped in, we don't know how long it will take to get the products because the inspections of imported products are so random.

Here's what I would tell President Obama: Please don't help us. Just get out of the way. We can figure out our own problems. When the economy is rocking like a boat, the last thing you should do is stand up and shift the weight around and make the rocking worse. You need to stay on a steady course. -- P.K.


Last updated September 07 2011: 11:07 AM ET
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