August 12, 2009
Ms. Elizabeth M. Murphy
Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street NE
Washington, DC 20549
Dear Ms. Murphy,
At seventy-six years of age, you might think I should be retired. However, after many years working in the aerospace industry, I own and operate Commercial Mowing Service. Years ago, I started mowing large commercial lots with my son. He has now moved out of state, but my wife and I still depend on our business to supplement our meager retirement income. This business and the income it generates is vital for us; therefore, I do not want the government to interfere by changing the shareholder proxy access rule. That could possibly force my business to shut down.
Honestly, there are times when I think it would be nice to retire completely. Unfortunately, in this economy I need to work as long as I physically can. However, this economy may just mean the end of my business. Many businesses are closing due to the recession, which means I am constantly losing clients. Most of the parts and supplies that I need come from John Deere and other large corporations. While commercial mowing can be a lucrative business, I have already noticed the prices for the parts I need increasing. If this shareholder proxy access rule change is allowed, those large companies may be forced to raise their prices even more.
We desperately need to see some improvement in this economy, and this proposed rule change is not going to provide that at all. Small and large businesses are struggling right now, and my business cannot take much more in the way of price increases. It should be clear that this is not a hobby that I do for exercise or enjoyment. For years, I have put my heart and soul into this business, and it is how I make my living. I truly hope the government will give that some serious thought before making this proposed rule change a reality. It will devastate many small business owners, including me.