Biloxi's "Lank the Plumber" talks about small business frustrations

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Wednesday night's presidential debate made "Joe the Plumber" a household name.  The Ohio man was mentioned by both candidates as a sort of representative of the average American.

Krystal Allan caught up with a local small business owner, "Lank the Plumber," to ask about the challenges he faces.

A.H. "Lank" Patterson says owning a plumbing business for nearly 40 years has taught him one thing.

"The small business has got to make it own its own," Patterson said.

Neither Patterson nor his workers are sure if either presidential candidate can deliver for small business owners.

"They both shoot ideas out there, but I don't know how well either one's going to be able to accomplish them," said plumber Luke McCloskey.

The shortage of homes and businesses after Hurricane Katrina has slowed down service calls. But despite that, Patterson said one of his biggest obstacles is trying to services, like healthcare, to his workers.

"I wish we could pay insurance for everybody, but the doors would close if we did that," Patterson said.

"It's expensive. You don't go as often as you need to when it's coming out of the paycheck every week," McCloskey said.

Patterson said there is one way he sees small business owners being helped.

"If they'll cut the tax on the little man, it'll help," Patterson said.

In the end, Patterson said he's depending on one man to look out for the best interest of his business - himself.