Chattanooga's T.J. Gentle Meets with Obama

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Updated: 10/16/2013 6:46 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF):
Congress finalized legislation that will fund the government through Jan 15th... And lift the debt limit through Feb. 7th
    
President Obama met with a group of small business owners friday... preparing for this negotiation.

Chattanooga's own T.J. Gentle was among those advising the president.

"One issue he asked in particular was... 'If we move the debt ceiling back 6 weeks, how will that affect your business?'" said Gentle.

Gentle is the CEO of Smart Furniture... an online furniture retail company.
Because the company does business on-line... He says they feel an immediate impact when consumer confidence changes.

"All of this uncertainty in washington makes it difficult for us to make decisions for the long-term

Smart Furniture saw growth this year, but due to the government shutdown they decided against hiring any new employees.

He says, "You just pause and you say are these the investments I need to make right now?"

It seems the president heeded Gentle's advice...as he opted to demand a later date. Had they not, the deal would've landed right in the middle of holiday shopping.

Gentle said, "If this negotiation goes into the period between thanksgiving and christmas, it would be devastating 

The fact that it won't is good news retailers across the country. While agreements were reached, the effects of the shutdown continue to echo throughout our economy. Gentle leaves small businesses with a word of advice...

"Keep innovating... Find your own path and stick to it."

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