Three top policymakers provided timely information to members about the progress of bills and resources vital to their enterprises
One of the many benefits of NFIB membership is the opportunity your association presents to hear directly from and talk directly to the top policymakers making the decisions affecting your ability to own, operate, and grow your business.
Small Business Days at the Capitol are one of the ways NFIB creates this opportunity, and with the April 21 (Virtual) Small Business Day, which 193 members signed up for, it was mission accomplished. Highlights from guests’ remarks included:
- The owner of three small businesses, Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk led off the list of speakers by paying NFIB a high compliment, “I love NFIB, and I’ll tell you why. I’ve been up in Sacramento entering my ninth year, and what I’ve learned is the agenda in Sacramento: big labor, big business, and always bigger government. NFIB is the true voice of the little guy.” In the course of his remarks, Wilk also lamented the intellectual capital California was losing (“When you see the smartest people leaving California, it tells you all you need to know.”) and the devastating consequences the pandemic has had on the young, who are setting records for “depression, self-harm, and overdose.”
- Assembly Member James Ramos, author of Assembly Bill 247, the small business liability protection bill that NFIB is co-sponsoring, spoke next. Recently seeing one of his favorite restaurants no longer in business, Ramos noted “the struggle is very real for many,” and took aim at what one of the things that needs to happen. “There’s a big disconnect and a big educational process that needs to happen within the State Legislature on what a small business truly is. I’ve bussed tables, I’ve had the payroll … so I truly understand those [small business] issues.” Ramos also discussed another measure of his to lower the Minimum Franchise Tax, but he reserved a good portion of time to promote workforce development by greater training in the trades. “It leads to entrepreneurship. There are so many that I’ve known that have learned a technical trade that didn’t go to a four-year university, but they’re running their own business in our community.”
- Dee Dee Myers, a senior advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), rounded out the roster of speakers, starting first with an update on a variety of topics, such as the state’s Small Business Relief Grant program, the California Competes Tax Credit program, rehiring incentives, and license and fee reductions. She also noted that California ranked first in the nation in businesses start-ups last year and this year, and that the state was sitting on a $25 billion surplus. But it was her look ahead that resonated the most with members, when, in rapid-fire fashion, she said:
- “The governor had no interest in raising taxes this year.
- “There will be no income tax increase.
- “There will be no corporate tax increase.
- “There will be no wealth tax.
- “There will be no interest in capital gains.
- “And he has said not only will he not support it, but if it comes to his desk, he will veto it.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard more information packed into a 1-hour-and-15-minute time frame,” said NFIB California State Director John Kabateck. “Our Small Business Day serves as one of the best examples of how valuable these events – and the role of NFIB – can be.”
NFIB thanks its Small Business Day guests for making the time to meet with its members, and thanks our members who make NFIB what it is and empower it to attract our state’s top officials.