July 2014

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Newsletter: July, 2014


Letter from John Arensmeyer


Summer is winding down and Congress is out on recess, but that doesn’t mean we’re not still working hard on important small business issues. In fact, to help strengthen the work we’re doing, we’ve expanded our regional and state-based model that has served us and the small business owners we represent so well for nearly 10 years.


We have two new senior Directors who will expand and strengthen our 14 office/10 state regional operations, further increasing our ability to reach and educate small businesses across the country. What’s more, we’ve hired a new government relations manager in Washington, D.C. who will boost our influence in the nation’s capital, giving voice to the small business community at the national public policy table.


This expansion will allow us to continue building on our successful regional and state-based approach that is already at the core of our work.


Read more about our expansion and the many issues we’ve been working on below. Get updates at your convenience at www.smallbusinessmajority.org.

Small Business Majority state activity

Small Business Majority’s Regional Expansion

We’re pleased to announce Small Business Majority’s expansion into three regions that will be managed by a director who will serve on the organization’s Leadership Team and be responsible for outreach, development, state policy/advocacy and other activities. Grant Lahmann, who headed the organization’s outreach work over the last year, is being promoted to Director, East & South, where he will work out of the Washington, D.C. office and manage all of the organization’s work throughout the Eastern and Southern regions, including directing Small Business Majority’s Ohio, New York, New Jersey and Virginia offices.


The Midwest and West regions will be managed by Jesse Greenberg, who is joining Small Business Majority after acting as the lead consultant to the field operations of the Illinois healthcare marketplace in his capacity as Managing Supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard in Chicago. He will continue to be based in Chicago and, as Director, West & Midwest, will manage Small Business Majority’s Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Oregon and Washington state offices. Previously, Jesse spent four years at J Street as Midwest Regional Director & Deputy Director of Political Affairs.


California operations will continue to be managed by longtime California Director David Chase.


The organization has also hired a new Partnerships & Government Relations Manager, Chris Armstrong, who will work out of its Washington, D.C. office. Armstrong will build and foster relationships with national partners and government entities. Previously, Chris worked on presidential campaigns and on the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, where he managed outreach to local elected officials in affected areas.


We also hired a new media and communications associate, Kelsey Bye, who will handle media relations for the organization and foster relationships with small business owners across the country.


Members of Small Business Majority’s 35-person team working in each region and state will continue to be responsible for the integrated combination of business organization/business owner outreach, state partner relationships, development, state policy and advocacy and relationships with state media.

Louisiana Small Businesses Support Protecting Public Lands

Download full infographic here >>

 On July 10, Small Business Majority released the results of a scientific opinion poll showing Louisiana small business owners believe protecting their state’s natural assets is important to the success of local communities, and support extending the life of the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which helps protect the state’s public lands.


 The poll found 9 in 10 small employers believe the state’s public lands are an important part of the economy, and 94% agree they draw visitors and have a positive impact on small companies.  Another nine in 10 entrepreneurs want Congress to renew the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is funded by fees paid by oil and gas companies and is used to protect public lands. 

Learn more   

Updates on the Healthcare Front

 On July 17,  Grant Lahmann spoke at an event with Secretary Sylvia Burwell at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he discussed the new small business health insurance marketplaces.

Stephanie Salazar-Rodriguez with small business owner

Cheryl Lucero and Governor John Hickenlooper

 On July 17, Colorado Health Coverage Guide Stephanie Salazar-Rodriguez met with Governor Hickenlooper at the Latino Leaders Roundtable at EXDO Denver. The event gave Latino leaders across the state a chance to talk to the governor about the most important priorities impacting the Latino community.


 On July 22, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras Sweet helped kick off our series of Spanish language webinars on the new healthcare law, and the opportunities it provides for small employers. These bi-monthly interactive calls will all be conducted in Spanish and are open to all small business owners throughout the country. A complete list of upcoming webinars is available at: http://www.sba.gov/healthcare

Recent Executive Orders Benefitting Small Businesses

 On July 16, the president announced a series of executive actions to help state and local governments defend against climate change by providing for new projects and data tools that will help officials better prepare for the devastating impacts of climate change. We know from our polling that small employers believe clean energy policies like these can have economic benefits and help boost their bottom lines.


 On July 21, the president signed an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees. This is a big step toward eliminating discrimination in the workplace—which is something our biggest job creators, small businesses, overwhelmingly support

Please share this newsletter with any other business owners or members of business groups!


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August Chamber Chatter Call with the White House

Join us for this month’s Chamber Chatter call with the White House Business Council featuring special guest David Simas, Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Political Strategy and Outreach. Mr. Simas will provide updates from the Administration about the latest policy developments impacting small businesses. The call will take place Wednesday, August 20 from 1:30-2:30 EST.

Export-Import Bank Important to

Small Business Success

For 80 years, the U.S. Export-Import Bank has been financing the export of American goods and services, largely from small businesses. The recent push by some lawmakers to defund the Ex-Im Bank could have far-reaching negative affects on the small business sector, and it’s time for small business owners to be heard on this important issue.


That is why Small Business Majority has launched a new site dedicated to helping small businesses voice their support for and share their experiences with the Ex-Im Bank. Please take a moment to visit our new website and share your thoughts on why the Ex-Im Bank is important to small business success.

Family Medical Leave Act Anniversary

 Last week marked the 21st anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act and we want to hear from you about how this important piece of legislation, which more than 80% of small business owners support, has impacted you and your small business.


 If you have stories about successful formal or informal paid leave policies at your small business, we would love for you to share those with us in honor of FMLA’s 21st anniversary. And follow our posts on social media with the hashtag #FMLA21. 

Google Business Technology Challenge

The Google Business Groups Transformation Challenge is taking submissions through September 15 for a chance to win $5,000 for sharing your story about how you use technology to grow your business. To participate, all you have to do is submit stories here about how your business or venture uses technology in innovative ways. 

Small Business Survey for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The Atlantic Council is working on a project to highlight the potential benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently being negotiated between the U.S. and European Union for small and medium-sized enterprises.

In order to ensure trade negotiations address the challenges faced by small businesses, the Atlantic Council is gathering stories from business owners to identify the specific barriers that small businesses have faced when exporting. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Emma Hollister at ehollister@smallbusinessmajority.org

News Clips

  Taking Action on Workplace Equality

The Wall Street Journal


  Business leaders speak out for immigration reform

Bakersfield Californian


  Small businesses can pool buying power

The Daily Herald


  Paid Family Leave knowledge lacking

San Jose Mercury News


  Families deserve paid leave

San Francisco Examiner


 It’s time to reform U.S. patent system

Las Vegas Sun



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Published by Small Business Majority - Smallbusinessmajority.org - 866-597-7431

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