Recent reports have consistently listed Montana as one of the top states to start a small business. I should know. Like so many Missoulians, I took the leap into small business.

My friend Tom Winter has done the same. I own a landscape business, he owns a health-care startup, and we’ve both seen firsthand how hard it is to strike out on your own. We work hard to create wealth for ourselves, our employees and our community.

We don’t expect it to be easy, but there are too many unnecessary roadblocks in the way of hard workers. Missoula’s small business owners and their employees need stronger partners in government who aren’t prohibited by a rigid ideology.

Too many of us are being squeezed by rent, by property taxes, by slow wage growth. We need someone to fight for us in our state government.

That’s why I’ll be supporting Tom Winter in his race to represent House District 96. He understands the needs of our small business community and how the state can best foster entrepreneurship.