Photo by Anthony Bukengolts / MTSU Sidelines
Story by Rayyan Ahmed / Contributing Writer
Business owners met with U.S. Senate candidate and former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen at Just Love Coffee and Eatery Thursday morning to discuss challenges that small businesses face.
There was much to discuss as everyone around the table shared the journey of establishing their business. They discussed the various entrepreneurial challenges they faced, the impact their decisions had on their families and the excitement and intimidation of expanding their businesses.
One of many pressing concerns brought up repeatedly included healthcare and how difficult it is to acquire and navigate. Another concern was the impact these local businesses had on larger and smaller businesses and the regulations they have to follow to ship and acquire their products. Many of these regulations were designed for larger businesses.
“We have to emphasize the importance of some of these regulatory mismatches, and we need to find some way to make healthcare more accessible to small business and their employees,” Bredesen said.
Before running for U.S Senate, Bredesen served as the 48th governor of Tennessee for eight years. His tenure as governor was an experience he believes brings a fresh perspective to the Senate. Bredesen said that his perspective is different than that of a lawyer or someone who has been aiming to run for Senate all their lives.
Frustrated with Washington’s inability to engage with issues and come up with solutions, Bredesen’s decision to run for Senate was driven by his desire to be active in the political field and to make an impact.
“I wish that I could say that if you elect me I would fix (it) all that, but I can’t,” Bredesen said. “I believe the way to start is by sending people up (to Washington) who are willing to work across the aisle, willing to make some compromises and put some importance on moving things forward. That is the rationale, and I’d like to be engaged.”
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