Earlier this week, NSBA hosted its annual Washington, D.C. fly-in, the Small Business Washington Presentation. More than 150 small-business leaders from across the country convened in the nation’s capital to discuss policy, small-business priorities, hear from policymakers and meet with their lawmakers.
From L-R: NSBA Members Michael Koslow, Monica Robles, Isabel Chen, Justin Schardin (Senator Feinstein’s Legislative Assistant), Marilyn Wilson Lund, Elizabeth Stirling, Ana Bradfield, and Houman Ghajari
The event kicked off with the NSBA Lew Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year Award luncheon where ML Mackey of Beacon Interactive Systems of Waltham, Mass., was recognized as the 2022 award winner for her decades of outspoken advocacy efforts on behalf of America’s small businesses. In addition to honoring Mackey, NSBA also recognized finalists: Maureen Bakewell Chamberlin, of Embassy Global, LLC in Hamburg, New York; Jill Castilla of Citizens Bank of Edmond in Edmond, Oklahoma; Mark Ware of Mission Point Resort in Mackinac Island, Michigan; and Niesha Wolfe of The Gingham Café in Clarksville, Tennessee. NSBA also awarded Kelly Willenberg of Greenville, South Carolina its inaugural Rising Star honor aimed at early recognition of the future leaders of small business.
Attendees also heard from Steven Clemons, founding editor-at-large for SEMAFOR, former editor-at-large of The Hill, and past Washington editor-at-large of The Atlantic, who shared his insight on politics in Washington, D.C., and brought his unique insight and humor to an important discussion.
Following the luncheon, the NSBA delegation received a policy update on small business priority issues, including: expiring tax cuts, the Corporate Transparency Act, key vacancies at the U.S. Small Business Administration, and increased enforcement from the IRS to close the so-called tax gap. During the policy sessions, attendees heard from experts, including Bob Carroll, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis of the U.S. Treasury Department.
Next, the delegation participated in a high-level briefing from the White House, featuring senior advisor Bharat Ramamurti, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, and then participated in a candid roundtable discussion with top small-business advocates consisting of Rhett Buttle and John Stanford, Co-Executive Directors of the Small Business Roundtable; Talisha Bekavac, Executive Vice President of the U.S. Black Chambers; and Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. The panel discussed the state of small business and the important role we play in politics and elections, as well as early indicators of NSBA’s 2022 Small Business Survey of Politics, which is set to be released in the coming weeks.
Kicking off day two of events, NSBA held its Congressional Breakfast, where attendees heard from key Members of Congress on their priorities and efforts to support small business. NSBA leadership also provided a crash-course in lobbying and how best to get their message across in their forthcoming Capitol Hill meetings.
NSBA closed out its information programming with an high-level procurement roundtable featuring Michael Parrish, Chief Acquisition Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, David Busigo, Jr., Senior Advisor at the Department of Defense Office of Small Business Programs, Major Clark, Acting Chief Counsel for the SBA Office of Advocacy, Jere Glover, Executive Director of the Small Business Technology Council, and Kea Matory, Director of Legislative Policy for the National Defense Industrial Association.
The speakers provided a wealth of information on contracting policy, as well as tips for how small businesses can start and grow federal procurement.
The NSBA delegation then took to Capitol Hill for Congressional visits with their Members of Congress and their staff where they discussed the most timely issues facing America’s small businesses today.
From L-R: Alexa Rae Kramer of the Small Business Association of Michigan, Charles J. Cohen of Cybernet Systems Corporation, Rep. Jack Bergman, Raffaele Mautone of AaDya (ah-DAY-ah) Security, Rosemary Moore of Sharpe & Associates Insurance Agency, Mark Ware of Mission Point Resort, and Milan Gandhi of Charter Township of Northville.
The next event NSBA will host is our Small Business Congress in February, 2022 – stay tuned to www.NSBA.biz for details.