Wilmers says regulations ‘stymieing’ small business growth

MT Bank Corp. chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers believes strongly in the power of small businesses.

He points to the rise of Moog Inc., New Era and Under Armour – all of which are MT customers – from fledgling startups to thriving companies, driven by determined entrepreneurs.

But Wilmers worries government regulations are creating too great of a burden for new small businesses to follow suit.

“It’s no wonder that in an environment where the deck is seemingly stacked against small businesses, fewer of them are growing or even forming,” Wilmers said Tuesday at the bank’s annual shareholders meeting, which drew more than 250 people at MT’s headquarters. “With regulation stymieing them, it’s impossible to know what we’re missing – the successors to Moog, New Era and Under Armour that never had their chance.”

Wilmers devoted almost all of his speech to his concerns about the obstacles small businesses face, citing complaints MT has heard from its customers.

“The importance of government policies that favor the formation of small businesses and cultivate the human capital to sustain them cannot be overstated,” he said. “For the sake of our communities and for our future, it’s time to listen and it’s time for action.”

From 2003 to 2007, an average of 529,055 startups were established each year, Wilmers said. That annual average dropped by 25 percent from

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