At White House Event, Window Company Owner Talks Small Business

August 7th, 2017 by Editor

Steve Rennekamp, the owner of Energy Swing Windows in Murraysville, Pa.,, was one of 100 small-business owners who took part in last week’s discussion at the White House with President Trump entitled  “American Small Business—The Engine Of The American Dream.”

Steve Rennekamp, the owner of Energy Swing Windows in Murraysville, Pa.

The event was held as part of American Dream Week, which saw small-business owners join the president and several staff members to talk about what the administration can do to help small businesses succeed. Linda McMahon, administrator of the Small Business Administration, Gen. John Kelly, the president’s chief of staff, and Ivanka Trump also interacted with the small-business owners following an address by the president.

The White House hosted the event to spotlight the big role that small businesses play in the U.S. economy. According to statistics from the administration, two-thirds of working people in the United States are employed by small businesses, and half of all new jobs are created by small businesses.

A major point of discussion during the White House meeting was the difficulties most companies are facing in finding qualified workers. McMahon talked about programs that are either in place or are being developed to assist American workers and small businesses.

“Training is an important thing,” Rennekamp told the Tribune-Review newspaper. “We’re having a hard time trying to find qualified people. It’s not that these are high-tech jobs, but at the meeting, even trucking companies said they’re having trouble finding people, and those are $60,000-a-year jobs.”

Rennekamp’s company, Energy Swing Windows, manufactures and  installs all of its products. The business employs 15 full-time workers including several installers, which is fairly unique for the door and window industry. Most companies use sub-contractors to install their products, but Rennekamp says he prefers to use his own crew to ensure the quality of his company’s work. However, federal regulations have made it difficult for him to provide the level of benefits, especially healthcare, that he feels his employees deserve.

“Starting and running a business represents a risk that is hard to understand until you are in the middle of it,” Rennekamp said. “On a daily basis, a business owner faces a variety of obstacles in an effort to sustain and grow a business. Every small business wants to grow and add jobs. I’m involved because it’s important for people in government to understand what they can do to help a small business grow and add jobs. Even more importantly, it is critical that they realize the detrimental impact that regulations and tax policies can have on growth. The president seems to have a good grip on the important issues we face as business owners and understands the actual mechanics that make small businesses run.  He also knows what inhibits growth.”

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