A small business owner from West Jordan recently journeyed to Washington, D.C. to participate in a roundtable at the White House. The Small Business Administration and a company called Thumbtack organized the trip and roundtable so that small business owners from all over the country could share their stories and get others’ opinions.
“I was nominated through Thumbtack, which was just a wonderful thing. They’ve been nothing but great people to work with,” Jeramy Heinberger said.
Thumbtack is a tech company based in San Francisco, Calif. that helps put customers in need of a service in touch with local professionals. It also helps put small businesses in touch with a wider range of customers. They’ve been in Salt Lake City for almost a year now.
Heinberger lives in West Jordan with Brandy, his wife of seven years. The couple has a 4-year-old daughter and an 18-month-old son. He owns and operates Double D Concrete, a general contracting business in West Jordan, and he has been in business for about 13 years.
“I think small businesses are huge for our economy, especially for jobs. They provide opportunity for growth,” Heinberger said.
In 2002, Heinberger was actually forced to close the doors of his business for a time, and he attributes some of the loss in business to the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Times got really rough, so we closed the doors and started subcontracting to the Union Pacific Railroad. We did that for about 10 years,” he said.
In March 2014, Heinberger and his employees felt that the economy had improved enough to open their doors again. With the help from Thumbtack, he estimates that his business has increased in profits by about 70 percent.
Heinberger has used Thumbtack’s services for about a year. The company nominated him to go on a three-day trip to Washington, D.C., There, about 60 other small business owners from around the United States got together to discuss the intricacies and challenges of being a small fish in a big pond.
Heinberger said that taxes were brought up most frequently for discussion at the roundtable.
“Taxes is probably one of the most challenging aspects of operating a small business. . . We’re trying to get a job done that’s worth about $600, and, in order to do all the fees and the share that the government wants, it actually makes it into about a $1,600 job, just to cover permits and things of that nature,” Heinberger said.
Other topics of conversation included, but were not limited to, Obamacare, education, small business loans and making government services more readily available to all.
“Getting your license is fairly easy, and doing the work is fairly easy, but then having to deal with all the taxes and all the hoops you have to jump through for the government—that’s probably our biggest challenge,” Heinberger said.
Heinberger was “incredibly thankful” for the opportunity to travel to D.C. and talk with so many intelligent, like-minded people.
“I personally thanked Thumbtack, but I would love to publicly thank them for the opportunity as well. I’ve travelled quite a bit, and that was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. I’m a history buff anyway, so just to be able to be there was quite an experience,” he said. l