For several years, Mainers have been struggling with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Across our state, families are facing financial disaster with high unemployment, crushing debt, and grim prospects--while Washington continually fails to take the steps needed to fix these problems. I believe there are plenty of people looking out for the big corporations. I want to make sure Maine families have a senator who's looking out for them--by ensuring that small businesses have access to credit, investing in the jobs and technologies of the future, and in being able to thrive and find a return on their investment, in turn work to rebuild the middle class.
My parents ran three businesses. The managed a farm, they produced stoneware at their pottery, and they started a small textile factory. I know firsthand how hard it can be for Maine people to make a living that way. But I also know it's a crucial part of who we are as a people and what makes our state so great and full of promise for the future. People in Maine are innovative, and use their ingenuity to survive through every trend and time. I want to help them thrive, and I believe we need to do everything we can to encourage our neighbors to open small businesses and to grow them.
Textiles can be a tough business. When the economy is slow, many people pass on extra clothing items. In the first decades of the operation of the Dunlap Weavers, they struggled through oil embargos, recessions, and trends in fashion. When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the price of cashmere quintupled, which in turn drove up the price of other natural fibers. Many small textile mills closed, because they couldn't afford to produce and sell products made in America at these new, higher prices. In time, the Dunlap Weavers found other natural fibers like viscose chenille to produce popular, fine products out of, and over the last twenty years they have thrived.
And that's the spirit of Maine. Maine people only need an idea and a chance. They have the ideas; America can give them the chance. I want to be a part of that.