Legislative Director speaks at Altoona event
Good afternoon. My name is Rebecca Oyler. I am the legislative director of NFIB Pennsylvania. NFIB is Pennsylvania’s premier small business advocacy group. We represent about 14,000 small, independent businesses—your neighbors who own the convenience store down the street, the small manufacturer who hires folks in your community to produce important goods, your local builder and contractor, and even the farmer who grows the best peaches in your area. We are the voice of these small businesses around the state – in Harrisburg and in Washington.
Because they are small, you may think our members don’t have a large impact. You couldn’t be more wrong. Small businesses employ more than half of all working Pennsylvanians and create two out of every three new jobs. As a result, they are on the front line of job creation and economic prosperity in our state.
However, their size makes them vulnerable to the pinch of government regulations and tax burdens, the impact of which they feel on a daily basis. Bloated state budgets, piles of debt, and burdensome regulations have made Pennsylvania one of the least competitive states in the nation. This is true even as the nation’s economy is experiencing record levels of growth, and business optimism is through the roof. Pennsylvania is still too far behind, ranking near the bottom of states in almost all areas.
But there is reason to be hopeful. Small business owners believe Pennsylvania’s best days lie ahead. But our path down that road can only begin with a governor in office committed to get us on a better track.
That’s why I’m delighted to announce that the NFIB Pennsylvania PAC has endorsed Scott Wagner for Governor.
It goes without saying that, as a successful small business owner himself and member of NFIB, Scott Wagner has the experience he needs to understand the unique concerns of small businesses. As a Senator, he put this experience to good use. He has a reputation in town for asking tough questions and standing up for what’s right – on issues like government accountability and transparency, pension reform, and reducing burdensome regulations. He believes Pennsylvania taxpayers deserve straight answers and sensible actions.
Because of his background, he’s approached government from the commonsense perspective only a business owner could have. Like NFIB’s members, he too is frustrated with Pennsylvania’s inability to improve its economic standing to help our existing small businesses and attract more. And he knows what it will take to change this.
Scott’s opponent has an ad, where he touts himself as a “small business governor.” When I talk to NFIB members about what a “small business governor” would do, I get some funny looks because our members have good memories. The fact is that Governor Wolf proposed the largest tax hike in Pennsylvania history, along with billions of dollars in new spending to go with it. He regularly uses executive powers to increase the state’s regulatory burden on small businesses and has pushed for new taxes on energy. I think these policies would be considered quite the opposite of small-business friendly. The irony is that many of these plans were thwarted in the state legislature, thanks in no small part to leaders like Scott Wagner.
The fact is that we need to have a serious conversation about how to really turn things around in Pennsylvania for small business, and we’re never going to have that talk with Governor Wolf in office. Small businesses need a Governor like Scott Wagner who knows where they’re coming from because he’s been there. He will be a real small-business governor. He will look out for the little guy and fight for job-creators and their employees on Main Street.
I want to close by emphasizing how important it is for small-business owners—and everyone else who wants to make sure our kids someday have jobs in the state we love—to go to the polls on November 6. Make sure you vote for candidates who understand the important role that small businesses play in our economy and will be strong voices for small business issues.
For Governor, it’s an easy choice – that candidate is Scott Wagner! NFIB members are eager to work this fall – to recruit friends, family, and business colleagues – to go to the polls on November 6 and vote for Scott Wagner for Governor. Thank you.