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Locally Owned and Locally Produced in Burlington


From a family diner that’s revitalizing Durham to an entrepreneurial hub in the heart of downtown Charlotte, small businesses are the backbone of North Carolina’s economy and create two out of every three new jobs in America.

President Obama believes that supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses is vital to creating an economy built to last, in which hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded.

Eric Henry’s TS Designs, a locally owned and locally produced t-shirt designer in Burlington, is just one of the 800,000 different small businesses in North Carolina that employ nearly 1.6 million people in the Tar Heel state.

Eric’s business struggled under changes in the economy that saw a rise in outsourcing and led to challenges for North Carolina small businesses:

“We once were a state and a country of manufacturers. We built things here that the world buys. But somewhere along the line, things started to change. It was no longer about quality over quantity but about profits over people. Outsourcing jobs to foreign countries where labor was cheap, standards were lax and profit margins increased became the new norm.”

Eric’s business wasn’t immune to these struggles, but instead of looking to move jobs overseas he put a focus on local hiring—the foundation of an economy built to last:

“For us to succeed we had to adjust to the changing times, and we did. But instead of looking to move jobs overseas, we looked to hire local, what I like to call “dirt to shirt. We have a supply chain now that supports 700 jobs right here in North Carolina. From the cotton farmers who grow the material we need to make a shirt to the guys on the line who put it together, we’re all local and all American.”

Companies like Eric’s that hire local have an ally in President Obama. President Obama has fought to eliminate tax incentives for shipping jobs overseas and establish new incentives for companies to insource and keep jobs at home.

TS Designs is just one of the many small businesses in North Carolina that have benefited from President Obama’s support of small businesses. Are you a small business owner for Obama? Share your story.

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