Ohio small business owners at odds over candidates' economic plans

SANDUSKY COUNTY, Ohio -- Fall is candy season, and it’s also when talk in Donna McNemar’s candy shop, Coco Beans in Sandusky County, Ohio, turns to politics. 

Sandusky is a swing county in a swing state. President Obama narrowly won it twice, but so did George W. Bush.

“I would like to see Donald Trump win this election,” McNemar said, and she especially likes his plans for the economy.

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Donna McNemar making buckeye candies

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“When you want business to grow, would you not need somebody that knows business?” she said.

She prefers Trump’s current plan on the minimum wage: He wants the states to decide. Hillary Clinton supports a minimum wage as high as $15 an hour.

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Donna McNemar

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“If we’re forced to pay $15 for minimum wage, guess who’s gonna work more hours? Me. Because I’m going to have to lay off employees. I can’t, we can’t, handle that kind of increase,” McNemar said.

She also favors Trump’s tax plan, with across the board cuts, the biggest for the wealthiest Americans. Clinton’s plan would raise taxes on the rich.

“I understand that they’re wealthy and make a lot of money. But I also understand that they worked really hard for that money and if they have to pay more taxes it has to go somewhere and it’s going to come down to me,” McNemar said.

Across Sandusky County in Bellvue, Ohio, Richard Stegman has a very different view. He is a big fan of Hillary Clinton.

Stegman owns the Victorian Tudor Inn, a bed and breakfast he bought right before the recession hit.

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Richard Stegman, center, serving guests at his bed and breakfast

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“I was this close, so close, to actually losing everything,” he said.

He credits President Obama’s policies with turning the economy around and thinks Clinton would stay the course.

“I think it all goes under the umbrella of her experience,” he said.

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Richard Stegman

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When it comes to minimum wage, “I personally for the last several years have been paying my staffs anywhere from $14 to $15 an hour. You know, that’s smart business” Stegman said. “I need good people.”

He also prefers Clinton’s tax policies to Trump’s.

“Her tax proposal benefits a wide variety of people,” he said. “We don’t need a tax policy that really benefits just a small segment. I think hers is very broad.”

Stegman agreed that he thinks Clinton will help the middle class more than Donald Trump.

Two small business owners on opposite sides in a county that could decide which way this battleground state swings.

  • Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.