Romney ad features business owner who took hundreds of thousands in government help – while he criticizes that help

In the Mitt Romney campaign web and television ads that received national attention last week, a blunt Jack Gilchrist of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson tells President Barack Obama that he, his father and his son _ and not the government _ built his company.

But as it turns out, Gilchrist did receive some government help for his business.

In 1999, Gilchrist Metal received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority “to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment,” according to a New Hampshire Union Leader report at the time.

Last year, Gilchrist Metal also received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller, $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008, according to a government web site that tracks spending.

Jack Gilchrist said today his message is not “compromised” by the fact that he received the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds made possible by the federal government.

But he did not shy away from the fact that he has utilized government programs.

He also said his company received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan totaling “somewhere south of” $500,000 in the late 1980s.

“I’m not stupid, I’m not going to say ‘no.’ Shame on me if I didn’t use what’s available,” he said. “As a matter of fact, right now, I’m driving on a road.

“So, no,” said Gilchrist, “I don’t feel as though I’ve compromised anything or misled anybody.”