When was you small business founded?
Following a decade working in the banking industry, McKean slowly started a leasing business. What happened next?
February 1992 was when I did my first big lease for a sprinkler system, the center pivot irrigation. At the time here in the panhandle, no one had center pivots. It was the right time and timing, and coming from a farming and agriculture background, it was just a perfect fit.
Our business grew and expanded and we’ve been able to maintain what we’ve done for a long time now. Eighty percent is repeat business so hopefully we’re doing something right.
How many employees do you have?
Why did you become an NFIB member?
I am passionate about small business (because I finance equipment for small business) and a rep (Paul Williams who is still with NFIB) came into my office unannounced and convinced me NFIB is the voice of reason for small business. We are still friends today.
In what ways has NFIB helped your small business?
NFIB has helped my small business in many ways. In the beginning, they showed me how our elected leaders voted on small business issues in a condensed, readable format. In Texas, when our franchise tax got reinvented to something called a margins tax, NFIB lobbied—and still does–against this egregious tax. Some of us most affected testified before the House Ways and Means (Committee) with NFIB’s help. In Texas, Will Newton and Malaise Norfleet go above and beyond to answer current event questions or upcoming laws and are always available.
What’s the biggest challenge that faces Texas small business owners like you?
The biggest challenge I believe is taxation and the ever overreaching government, namely the (Environmental Protection Agency). About 67 cents of every dollar I own goes to the government in some form of tax. Secondly, the new EPA is completely out of hand. My company finances equipment for small business, primarily farm and agriculture. Ninety percent of the physical land in Texas is in agriculture production so when the EPA comes out with its new Clean Water Act, it will affect everything in Texas from financing to production, taxation and lawsuits.
How are you tackling that challenge in your own business?
I am tackling the challenge by calling my congressmen and representatives, writing letters, going to Washington (NFIB Small Business Fly-in). Second, I am telling everyone in my wheelhouse what the current issues are and how they can become a voice for small business and to get involved and informed.
What advice would you give new NFIB members to make the most of their membership?
Get involved, attend meetings and read the bills that have passed yourself and see how your constituents are voting. Get informed and become active in your state.
What could help your industry grow?
Less taxation for small business. No mandatory minimum wage, bring back manufacturing to America. Incentives for small business startups. Repeal the Dodd-Frank Act for community banks who have adhered to prudent lending practices unlike Wall Street and its subprime mortgages and derivatives. Last but not least, repeal Obamacare. My employee insurance doubled this year from $456 to $954 per employee.
If Texas lawmakers could grant you one legislative wish for your business what would it be?
Eliminate the Margin Tax.
Is there someone you consider a small business hero or mentor who’s helped shaped your entrepreneurialism?
My dad. He was my John Wayne! He was a cattle buyer from the panhandle of Texas. I learned my most treasured assets from his code of conduct. My dad was part Indian and that’s how Indian Ink Leasing got its name. It means our word is good.