Hickenlooper 2020
CONTACT: press@hickenlooper.com

Hickenlooper Releases Plan to Level Playing Field for Small Business

Ahead of a campaign stop in San Francisco, the former small business owner appealed to his fellow entrepreneurs to level the playing field for new start-ups
Denver, CO - Ahead of a moderated discussion at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club on Friday, Democratic presidential candidate and former small business owner John Hickenlooper released a plan to strengthen national anti-trust policies.  The rise of competition-strangling mega-firms in many sectors, after decades of erosion in anti-trust enforcement, has partly contributed to a decline in start-ups. 

"I know firsthand the power of small business to change an entire city, but I don't know that I could have been a successful entrepreneur in today's environment," said Governor Hickenlooper.  "Our federal government has to create the opportunity for competition and growth. We have to protect our country's entrepreneurial spirit."

Hickenlooper would level the playing-field for entrepreneurs and small businesses by

    • Requiring the Federal Trade Commission to report on industry concentration, including retrospective evaluations of consummated mergers, and even investigating whether completed mergers should be undone
    • Restoring the Clayton Anti-Trust Act to its original purpose of encouraging competition instead of solely focusing on general public welfare
    • Passing legislation through Congress that prohibits companies from preventing others from repairing their high-value products by outlawing diagnostic authorization and requiring companies to release repair-related manuals. 
    • Enforcing our antitrust laws to prevent franchises from using “no poach” laws and passing legislation through Congress that limits non-compete agreements 
The Governor will unveil his full economic agenda in New Hampshire the weekend of May 3.   

Governor Hickenlooper had an unexpected path to entrepreneurship. He moved to Colorado in 1981 to pursue a career in geology. In 1986, due to a downturn and changing economy, John and thousands of other geologists to lost not only their jobs, but their profession. John was out of work for two years. In 1987, he and some friends decided to start their own business. Using a library book on how to write a business plan, and cobbling together loans from the local government and family and friends, they opened a brewpub in an abandoned warehouse district. Rent was cheap in this forgotten corner of Denver, costing only one dollar per square foot per year. John worked with other small businesses to create a dynamic, new neighborhood that became a national model for urban revitalization – now known as LoDo. John ultimately opened 15 brewpubs and restaurants, almost all in historic buildings, mostly across the Midwest. As he did in Denver, he worked closely with other businesses, nonprofits and local governments to help revitalize the downtowns around each of his brewpubs.