Washington Presentation Wrap-Up

June 26, 2017

On June 19-20, 2017, small-business leaders from across the country came to Washington, D.C. for NSBA’s 2017 Small Business Washington Presentation.  During the two-day event, attendees heard from policymakers, administration officials and Congressional staff, and spent time networking and attending meetings on Capitol Hill.

Kicking off the event was the Lew Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year Award luncheon where David Ickert, of Air Tractor, Inc. in Olney, Texas was named the 2017 Lewis Shattuck Small Business Advocate of the Year. In addition to honoring Ickert, NSBA also recognized the following small-business owners for their excellence in advocating on small-business issues: Curtis Richardson, C&J Electrical Services, LLC; Deborah Rutledge, Rutledge Group, Inc.; Michael Stanek, Hunt Imaging, LLC; and Diane Sumpter, DESA, Inc.

Recognizing the awardees work, the keynote speaker, Allen Gutierrez, Associate Administrator of the Office of Entrepreneurial Development at the U.S. Small Business Administration underscored the importance of active and engaged small-business owners. He also talked about the administration’s efforts to reduce regulations and coordinate regulatory policy among the agencies, ensuring that lower level regulatory decision-making at the agency level is still reflective of administration policy and direction.

Following the luncheon, the NSBA delegation participated in a hands-on exercise focused on reducing the debt, led by Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Working in small groups, the delegation came up with a host of solutions to the increasing debt, and learned first-hand the tough work required on this issue. Goldwein and his staff previewed for NSBA a new online tool created by CRFB that was just formally released today, click here for more.

Next, Trump Administration Senior Advisor Carlos Dias-Rosillo addressed the delegation where he talked about the need to curb unnecessary regulations. He highlighted President Trump’s Executive Order on regulations requiring regulators to remove two regulations for every new one rule proposed. Dias-Rosillo took many questions from the NSBA delegation and welcomed ongoing communication between NSBA and the administration.

Closing out the afternoon’s policy-focused discussions was issue briefing and lobbying tutorial from NSBA leadership to get all participants up to date on the latest policy changes on four key areas: tax reform, health care reform, small-business contracting and regulatory reform. Also highlighted during the issue briefing was a new NSBA survey that was released in conjunction with the Washington presentation. On Monday, NSBA, in partnership with Cynthia Kay and Company Media Production, released the 2017 Small Business Workforce and Labor Survey which quantifies how workforce issues ranging from immigration to education to background checks impact our nation’s chief job creators.

On Monday evening, the delegation stepped out on the town in Washington’s Chinatown neighborhood for an evening of food, drinks, fun and networking.

On Tuesday morning, the delegation took to Capitol Hill early. The NSBA delegation participated in a high-level Congressional Breakfast with top staffers from key committees including: both the Senate and House Small Business Committees, the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee.

The delegation heard first from Robert Yavor, Professional Staff Member for the House Small Business Committee majority who talked about access to capital, and his committee’s work to ensure efficiency with the SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs.

Next was a panel discussion with Skiffington Holderness, Staff Director for the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee majority, and Kevin Wheeler, Deputy Staff Director for the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee minority. Holderness and Wheeler discussed their committee’s bipartisan nature and the very effective way staff works together and their efforts to support and strengthen the Small Business Innovation Research program.

Halimah Locke, Professional Staff Member for the House Small Business Committee minority then spoke to the group about contracting and procurement efforts, and said the committee is leading the charge to better the federal marketplace for small business.

The next panel discussion was focused on tax, featuring Rick Limardo and Randell Gartin

of the House Ways and Means Committee. During their discussion, Limardo and Gartin outlined the House’s tax reform blueprint, what’s included and how it is likely to impact small business. They also took questions and engaged in a lively, candid discussion with the NSBA delegates.

The next staffer to speak was Elizabeth O’Hara, Deputy Chief of Staff at the House Ways and Means Committee minority, who talked about health care reform efforts and what they expect to see out of the House and Senate, and what’s likely to move in the coming few months.

Josh Sheinkman, Staff Director for the Senate Finance Committee minority then addressed the group and talked about Sen. Ron Wyden’s (R-Ore.) work on tax reform as well as his reform legislation from last year, the PATH Act.

Chris Campbell, Republican Staff Director for the Senate Finance Committee majority, was the final speaker at the breakfast. He spoke about tax reform, health care and infrastructure, and outlined a likely timeline for these key issues to be addressed.

NSBA would like to thank our wonderful sponsors, Pfizer, CapitalOne and Yelp whose support makes these kind of events possible. Please take a few minutes today to check out what CapitalOne and Yelp have to offer your small business.