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Welcome to Michigan Radio’s coverage page for the 2012 Election.If you’re looking for more information to help with your decisions, you can read our collection of stories about key races featured below.You can also check out our Guide to the Ballot Proposals.

Small business owners in Michigan voice support for Romney's middle class plan

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Mitt Romney in Holland, Michigan for a campaign stop in June. Today Romney was in Colorado to highlight his plan to strengthen the middle class.

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is refocusing his tax plan to strengthen the middle class. Romney was in Colorado Thursday to outline his plan, which included points that have been previously released.

In Michigan and other states the campaign lined up several small business owners to share their support for Romney.

Tyce Holst owns Taylor Rental and Party Plus, a rental store in Holland that employs 10 full time workers. Holst says the recession forced him to lay off two employees.

“First time ever in our history. And I haven’t been able to replace them,” Holst said.

“That’s the key to me,” Jim Osterhaven, President of Superior Foods Company, chimed in. “The last three-and-a-half years or whatever nothing’s changed. It’s stayed rotten.”

The Romney campaign made Osterhaven, Holst, State Representative Lisa Posthumus-Lyons (R-Alto) and another business co-owner available at a gathering at Superior Thursday.

A similar event took place in Lansing later. Posthumus-Lyons said Romney would make a better “national partner” for Michigan lawmakers than Obama is.

Osterhaven showed me part of the more than 60,000 square foot refrigerated processing plant. It smelled like fresh fish. About 130 people work there full time. Everyone took a 10-percent pay cut there in 2009. Osterhaven says those pay cuts are starting to be reversed, but they’re not completely restored yet.

Osterhaven’s grandpa started the family business almost seven decades ago. He says Mitt Rommey understands business guys like them.

"He has a business background. He understands the fights and struggles that we have as businesspeople. President Obama does not,” Osterhaven said.

As an example, Osterhaven says he’s paying $20,000 more to lease delivery trucks now because of new emission standards.

Romney's five point plan to strengthen the middle class includes producing more domestic energy like coal and natural gas, cutting the federal deficit, and signing new trade agreements with other countries.

Osterhaven says Romney’s plan to lower the corporate tax rate to 25-percent would help his business prosper.

An independent study found Romney's plan would offer big tax cuts to wealthy Americans while putting a heavier burden on middle and lower class families. The Romney campaign called the Tax Policy Center study "biased" and "a joke.

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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