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East Lyme — The work a small business owner does before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. can determine success, Republican congressional candidate Paul Formica said Friday as he announced he will begin a campaign tour of businesses throughout the 2nd District.
"Small business is a way of life," the East Lyme first selectman said. Formica is campaigning for the U.S. House seat currently held by Democratic Joe Courtney.
At a press conference at his Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant, Formica said small businesses are key to economic recovery, and he will "engage small businesses" in his districtwide tour.
Also Friday, Formica received an endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business, an association that lobbies on behalf of small businesses and traditionally supports Republican candidates.
In its online report "How Congress Voted," NFIB gave Courtney a 29 out of 100 rating, based on how he voted on issues that are important to the organization, such as repeal of the health care law and the Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act.
Courtney's campaign manager Emma Pietrantonio said Friday: "Congressman Courtney has a record of supporting small businesses. He successfully led the charge to repeal the onerous 1099 reporting requirement, has secured tariff relief for eastern Connecticut manufacturers, and has opened doors for local businesses looking to boost sales with exports. Rather than following the extreme agenda of outside groups, Congressman Courtney remains focused on addressing the true everyday needs of eastern Connecticut's small businesses."
Andrew Markowski, director for NFIB Connecticut, said Formica, who serves on the NFIB Connecticut Leadership Council, has advocated for small businesses locally and in Hartford.
Formica's endorsement came through NFIB's national political action committee, Save America's Free Enterprise Trust, according to a press release from the federation. The PAC has authorized a donation of $2,500 to Formica's campaign, Markowski said.
The 2nd District encompasses towns in the eastern part of the state, from Enfield in the north to the shoreline. Kevin Maloney, president of Northeast Express Transportation Inc. in Windsor Locks, praised Formica's advocacy for small businesses.
Friday, Formica spoke about the beginnings of Flanders Fish Market 29 years ago with his late wife, Donna. They started with a case full of fish and a cash register with money from tips, he said.
Formica said the country is at a time of "record debt" and that the Affordable Care Act is a burden that could hurt the economy. NFIB was part of a challenge to the health care reform act in the U.S. Supreme Court.