President Barack Obama on Friday hosted Chattanooga businessman T.J. Gentle, president and CEO of SmartFurniture.com, as part of a business advisory council on how the federal budget impasse and partial shutdown is affecting small businesses.
Gentle previously met with Obama in 2012 to discuss the then-looming fiscal cliff, with Gentle urging a tax increase on those making more than $250,000. This time, though Gentle came away without a specific proposal, the former Miller and Martin attorney called for a compromise between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C.
"The shutdown has clearly negatively affected consumer confidence," Gentle said. "My hope is that our leaders in Washington will not only find a viable solution for the short term, but that our leaders look to the long term and find a solution that will give business owners the confidence to invest in infrastructure, technology, and personnel, which will help create long-term sustainable growth in our economy."