A new National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) program has been put in place to better enable lawmakers to understand how small owners experience their businesses.

NFIB’s “Small Business Challenge,” was implemented this summer and is a national campaign that invites members of Congress to spend one day at one of the small businesses located in their districts. The Small Businesses challenge gives the lawmakers an opportunity to fully experience the challenges today’s small businesses are facing, such as issues with tax and compliance and general day-to-day management.

The advocacy hopes that the new program will also better enable lawmakers to understand how the decisions they make in Washington, D.C. impact their small business constituent base.

“These events present a unique opportunity for NFIB members to have a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their businesses,” said NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner. “Our members want to know that their elected representatives truly understand the needs of small business owners and will fight for policies that will have a positive impact on their work and quality of life,” Danner added.

Over the summer, a group of members of Congress took part in the NFIB Small Business Challenge, including Kevin McCarthy of California, a United States Representative and Majority Whip. Representative McCarthy spent his Small Business Challenge with NFIB member, Ray Ice of Kern Door Company, which is located in Bakersfield, California.

Representative McCarthy began the day involved in a roundtable discussion conducted with local small business owners who discussed their concerns regarding overregulation, ObamaCare, and the need for tax reform to be implemented. The lawmaker then went with a Kern technician, off-site, to insert a garage door opener at a customer location.

“It is a great opportunity to understand [small businesses’] struggles and to actually fight for them,” McCarthy said in a video following his Small Business Challenge experience. “I think all members of Congress should get out and listen to small business.”

The members of Congress who participated in the NFIB’s first Small Business Challenge are:

  • Lou Barletta (Pennsylvania)
  • Diane Black (Tennessee)
  • Chris Gibson (New York
  • Bob Goodlatte (Virginia)
  • Lynn Jenkins (Kansas)
  • Kevin McCarthy (California)
  • Scott Perry (Pennsylvania)
  • Keith Rothfus (Pennsylvania)
  • Tim Walberg (Michigan)

The NFIB, a small business advocacy association, was founded in 1943 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Source Information:

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB); MyVoice; November/December 2013; Congress Takes the Small Business Challenge

NFIB Video: Representative McCarthy on the Small Business Challenge Experience

NFIB: Invite Your Members of Congress to Take the Small Business Challenge