Members from across the country traveled to DC to meet with Congress and attend sessions with experts
NFIB hosted the annual DC Fly-In for members June 13-15, bringing together NFIB members and their guests who traveled to DC from 28 different states. The event included five informational sessions on Tuesday packed with critical information about the world economy and how it’s affecting small business here in the U.S., connecting effectively with Members of Congress, legislative issues impacting small business, and an insider’s look at the political landscape shaping the future for small business owners followed by Congressional meetings throughout the day on Wednesday. During the event, small business owners also had the chance to network with other owners who are facing similar challenges.
Connecting small business owners with prominent lawmakers is essential to NFIB’s advocacy on behalf of small businesses. NFIB members’ presence on Capitol Hill shed light on their top legislative, regulatory, and economic issues in first-hand discussions with lawmakers and their staff in nearly 100 Hill meetings.
On Tuesday, NFIB Grassroots Manager Bre Mapston led sessions on how business owners can make a lasting impact, giving tips on the best ways small business owners can voice their concerns for effective meetings with their members of Congress.
“Hearing input from constituents has the biggest impact on lawmakers,” Mapston said. “You are the ones who tell your story and know what it takes to run your business.”
Tuesday’s sessions also gave NFIB members background information on the current Congressional priorities to help them understand which topics they want to focus on to have the greatest impact. Members also shared tips from their past experiences with an opportunity to practice telling their story.
“You are an expert in these meetings,” Elizabeth Parks, Senior Grassroots Manager explained. “The members of Congress know the legislative side, but they don’t have your small business story.”
Sessions were also led by NFIB’s Research Center, federal government relations, and the NFIB political team to discuss what is happening in the economy, the latest legislative updates, and upcoming midterm elections.
“We want to make sure Capitol Hill understands why the 3.8% small business surtax is bad for your business and in contrast, how certainty can help your business thrive during the fragile economic recovery,” Courtney Titus Brooks, Senior Manager of Government Relations said.
The final day began with U.S. Senator Mike Braun (IN) and U.S. Representative Diana Harshbarger (TN) joining members for a session to talk about their path to public service, why they have stayed in politics, and changes they are working towards for the future.
“I got introduced early on in my political career as the guy who owned his own business. I remember that NFIB sign in there,” Braun explained. “We’re definitely still a member of NFIB…NFIB represents who I am and what my business stands for.”
Harshbarger encouraged members and reminded them of the importance of their voice and experiences. “Just keep doing what you’re doing. It makes an impact… It’s your voices that have to be heard.”
Meetings were held on Capitol Hill with Senators and Representatives from NFIB member’s respective states. This allowed business owners to sit down and discuss their top concerns and ways Congress can help small businesses by “Doing No Harm” as Main Street fights to recover. Small business owners taking the opportunity to meet with their members of Congress is the most effective way to advocate for small businesses across the country. NFIB’s Fly-Ins have a track record of success in securing policy changes needed to allow small businesses to operate and survive.
NFIB members were able to shed light on how some of the larger issues like inflation and workforce shortages impact their everyday lives as business owners. They were also able to discuss other important issues that aren’t seen as pressing but are worrisome for many small business owners such as administrative burdens associated with regulations. Do No Harm was the overall theme that members focused on, and they were able tie that into pro-small business bills that their member of Congress could oppose, support, and co-sponsor.
We appreciate NFIB members taking the time to participate in the DC Fly-In to ensure the voice of small business is heard on Capitol Hill.
Did you miss us in DC? You can still participate and Take Action to make your voice heard and amplify the issues NFIB members raised with their members of Congress in-person at the Fly-In. You can draft a personal message on how inflation, supply chain disruptions, and workforce shortages are challenging your business, and urge Congress to oppose taxes, mandates, and penalties that further threaten the small business economy.