NFIB Oregon Member Profile: Jack Holt, Murray & Holt Motors

Date: November 03, 2015

The NFIB Leadership Council member and small business owner of nearly 50 years discusses the power of lobbying for change.

What do you find most rewarding about running your own business?

It gives you some liberties that working for someone else probably would not afford you. Your risks, rewards, wins and losses all come from your effort—in other words, you reap what you sow.

How did you get started?

My father was an auto dealer who started Murray & Holt Motors in 1957. After I went to university, joined the military, and came back to go to law school, he was in a really bad car wreck, and by default I began running the dealership in 1967. I’ve been there ever since. And I’m glad, because we have way too many lawyers and not nearly enough car dealers.

What are some of the greatest challenges you’ve had to overcome as a small business owner?

One of the biggest issues is always people: employees, customers and other professionals you do business with. That is always what I think you have to manage best, because essentially and eventually, it does turn out to be the people business.

There are also continual tweaks to policy that are often contradictory between the federal, state and even local governments. A lot of it takes away from being able to make common-sense decisions with your employees. We cannot treat people as much like family in 2015 as we could in 1967.

What makes Oregon a good place to run a small business?

People have a great desire to move to Oregon. If you want a hub city with a lot of outdoor activities, community activities and a disproportionately good professional environment, Bend, Ore., will come up in the top 10 every time. It’s just a wonderful environment to live in.

Why did you get involved with NFIB?

NFIB is an entity that truly represents the small businessperson. I’ve always appreciated that. Politicians recognize that if you want to talk about small business concerns, this is the place to go. 

This is my second year on the NFIB/Oregon Leadership Council. We talk about different issues we’re going to pursue and how to support different candidates. Last year we had a Legacy Event honoring NFIB members Past, Present & Future. About a dozen lawmakers joined in honoring these members—that’s good stuff. To take an active role as a small business owner, I think that pays dividends.

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