"If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else did that." Jack Gilchrist, the owner of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, New Hampshire, incredulously asks, "My father's hands didn't build this company? My hands didn't build this company? My son's hands aren't building this company? ...Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business. Why are you demonizing us for it?"
The New Hampshire Union Leader reports
today that Gilchrist benefited from millions of dollars of government loans and contracts to get his business on its feet:
In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority "to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment," according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report at the time...
Last year, Gilchrist Metal also received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008, according to a government web site that tracks spending.
Gilchrist wisely took advantage of these funds, which help small businesses like his survive in their early years.
He also took a U.S. Small Business Administration loan in the late 1980s totaling "somewhere south of" $500,000, plus matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
In a lesson on basic government spending that Romney himself could learn from, Gilchrist succinctly explained: "I'm not going to turn a blind eye because the money came from the government. As far as I'm concerned, I'm getting some of my tax money back.
I'm not stupid, I'm not going to say 'no.' Shame on me if I didn't use what's available."