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Allen Ross, Published August 02 2012

President’s comments show he does not understand business

It is not logical to think that President Barack Obama referred to roads and bridges when he said, “You did not build that …” If he was referring to infrastructure when he said this, why say it? Everyone knows this simple fact. Do you really think that Obama took the time to say “you did not build that road or bridge”?

Obama said you did not build the business you own. He says that there are many in a community that made it possible by the infrastructure.

However, business owners did build their businesses. Here is my example:

Allen Ross Photography was started in our home in Moorhead. We operated for 11 years as our name grew in recognition. Then we rented space on Main Avenue in West Fargo. Main Avenue, a road built by all of us through taxes. Then we advanced to a building on Prairie Parkway. After three more years, we built a 6,000-square-foot building on 13th Avenue across from Menards.

Our risk: I gave up $10,000 a year in teaching salary, going part time. I paid $4,000 to adapt the front square footage of the Midway Office Building to facilitate our business. Next, we remortgaged our home to borrow $50,000. Then we built the building on 13th Avenue across from Menards, our last location. We were in business 38 years.

These advancements took risk and a remortgage on our home.

When Obama said, “You did not build that,” he was referring to our business, not the road that goes by it.

This fact is too embarrassing for some political operatives to admit. It was an honest expression of Obama’s idea to emphasize the community aspects of this business. However, we did take the risk, we did borrow the money and we did build the business. The customers are the part of the community that made this possible. I know this.

Curt Stofferahn, in the July 30 edition of The Forum, seems to suggest that Mitt Romney is dishonest in his defense of business builders and owners. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Allen Ross Photography is located on 13th Avenue in West Fargo.