The president of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association announced he applauds the efforts of both presidential candidates for their focus on plumbing contractors during the presidential debate on Wednesday night.

“We think it is great that comments from ‘Joe the Plumber’ were brought up several times in last night’s presidential debate,” said PHCC President Joe Schmitt, Joe Schmitt & Sons Plumbing & Heating, Englewood, Ohio. “Plumbing, heating and cooling contractors, most of whom operate small businesses, have been a big part of the American economy during our organization’s 126-year history. Unfortunately, smaller companies like ours can be forgotten as the country focuses on big business issues.”

Schmitt went on to say that the next administration's tax policy will have a major impact on PHCC members, no matter which party is in office. “It is our sincere hope that both the Democratic and Republican candidates will think long and hard about the comments of my fellow Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher as they consider future tax programs. It is imperative that entrepreneurs like Joe and PHCC members across the country have the opportunity to buy small businesses and create jobs for Americans.  That is the American dream, after all.”

Small businesses throughout the nation face rising gas prices, the cost of health care and the uncertainties facing financial markets, Schmitt said. “They’re being hit from all sides.” Reform of the nation’s tax policies should be a top priority for the next administration, he stated, and the next president must consider the needs and contributions of plumbing, heating and cooling contractors as small businesses. “The survival of PHCC’s members and America’s small businesses may depend on this. This has to be priority in order to help this economy recover and to encourage investment from new business owners.”