One highlight from Small Business Day in Nashville earlier this month was hearing from NFIB members who shared essential do’s and don’ts when engaging lawmakers.
Panelists Connie Vaughan with McKee Foods, Hugh Morrow with Ruby Falls and Peter Demos with Demos Brands offered how they communicate on NFIB issues and matters that impact their businesses.
Vaughan, a member of the NFIB Tennessee Leadership Council, said avoiding exaggeration and sticking to the facts is vital, as well as recognizing you may not get all that you want in legislation.
“If you can get 80 percent of what you need (in a law), most of the time businesses can figure it out.”
Morrow, former chair of the NFIB Tennessee Leadership Council, said lobbying starts in your hometown, not in Nashville, and to welcome lawmakers into your business.
“Invite them to come to your office. They’ll always come because they want to meet their constituents.”
Demos, who gave the declaration in the NFIB Small Business Legal Center’s friend-of-the-court filing challenging the Biden vaccine mandate in NFIB v. OSHA, said it’s critical to educate decision-makers. Avoid attempting to persuade or argue with them.
“When you go there with the wrong attitude, thinking you’re smarter than they are, you may be, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still not going to get through.”
Senior Grassroots Manager Elizabeth Parks moderated the panel discussion at Small Business Day, held on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the Cordell Hull State Office Building in Nashville. Click here to learn more about this year’s live event.