When it comes to politics, most of us have little stomach for being in the fray. Having said that, as a small business owner, sitting on the fence risks being choked out of business by overwhelming government mandates.
Small Business owners get “perked-up” attention with elected officials (yes, they sometimes see us as walking check books and/or people of influence). The problem for us is the time factor in working this channel for our benefit. A few years ago, I stumbled on the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) and have been won over.
Two weeks ago, I attended a Washington “NFIB Fly-in”. There were approximately 300+ NFIB members participating and included these events:
- A half-day class with 48 of us on Advocacy (the proper way to communicate with legislative representatives and their staff)
- Opening reception including an after-reception show with political satirist comedians (very entertaining)
- Breakfast at the Capitol Club including talks by Representative Claudia Tenney (freshman congress woman from New York who is also a business owner and NFIB member) and Texas Senator Ted Cruz
- Presentation by Vice President Mike Pence at the Capitol auditorium
- Individual meetings pre-scheduled by NFIB with our state congressional and senate representatives
- Closing reception and dinner for “Leadership Trust” NFIB members held at the American History Museum
This particular week was eventful (perhaps historical) as the Obamacare repeal went down in flames due to a few rogue Republican senators. 12 of us from Ohio had a meeting with Senator Rob Portman the very next morning. To his credit, he and his staff spent about an hour with us making his case on the vote as well as discussing our other concerns such as tax reform.
As someone unconnected to the political world (nor aspire to be), the week was memorable. Think of it this way, few Americans get to experience this. How exciting!
We have a voice! We can use it or get run over by government. I found the NFIB to be the perfect amplification of that voice.