Small Businessman Who Hit Obama at GOP Convention Got $850,000 in Government Loans

Harry E. Walker/Mct/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


At the Republican national convention on Tuesday, nearly every speech invoked—in an unfair, out-of-context manner—President Obama’s statement that successful small business owners benefit from government investment in roads, bridges, and education. Republicans have repeatedly used Obama’s line “you didn’t build that,” excluding the crucial context, to imply that Obama believes that entrepreneurs didn’t build their own businesses.

One small business owner tapped by the Republican National Committee to speak at the GOP’s “I Built That”-themed convention Tuesday was Phil Archuleta, owner of P&M Signs in New Mexico. “President Obama talks like he supports small businesses, but his actions are destroying us,” Archuleta told the thousands in attendance Tuesday night. “His administration is putting us out of business. It is our turn to put them out of office!”

But Archuleta’s business, like those of several other business owners at the GOP convention, benefited greatly from government help. Through the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, Archuleta secured an $850,000 Small Business Administration loan guarantee to build an 11,700-square-foot building for his company.

The Minority Business Development Agency’s website also says that Archuleta worked with the US Forest Service, to which he supplies signs, and a Department of Energy laboratory to develop environmentally friendly sign materials. So not only did Archuleta build new infrastructure for his business with a government loan, he collaborated with government agencies to improve the quality of his product.

Archuleta’s small business, in other words, directly contradicts the GOP’s “I built that” nonsense. The Republican National Committee has trotted out business owners to highlight Obama’s and the government’s supposedly harmful effect on businesses. In Phil Archuleta’s case, government has had the opposite effect.

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $200,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, this week so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

We have about a $200,000 funding gap and less than a week to go in our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, this week so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate