Four Ways Small-Business Owners Can Make an Impact on Election Day

Date: January 25, 2010

(1) Share information with your employees.

Talking with your employees about elections, candidates and the issues that affect them is protected by freedom of speech. You might not realize it, but it is legal to inform your employees about a particular issue, even to the point of taking a stand on that issue. Creating a resource that provides information on, but does not directly advocate for, a candidate is also perfectly legal.

When employees learn the facts about the candidates and issues that impact their small-business workplace, they can make an informed decision at the ballot box. 

Action items:

  • Host a Voter Information Day and set up a table in your cafeteria or lobby
  • Visit NFIB's Election Center for information on specific candidates
  • Check out our Key Votes to see how incumbent candidates are voting on small business's top issues
  • Explore our Voter Resources for more information

(2) Discuss the candidates' votes on key small-business issues.

It is helpful to provide employees with the voting records of incumbents. Being fully informed means knowing how an elected official votes—as well as how their votes affect business interests.

Action items:

  • Check out past NFIB Voting Records for your state legislators, as well as your federal legislators
  • Print the online voting records for distribution via bulletin board or company mail

(3) Host a business tour.

Meeting candidates face-to-face is a memorable experience that makes a big impact come Election Day. Businesses are allowed to host candidates and/or elected officials under a variety of circumstances.  A business can:

  • Invite a candidate or incumbent to give a presentation to employees on an issue of interest
  • Present a candidate or incumbent with a “community leadership” award that recognizes accomplishments
  • Invite a candidate or incumbent to the office or plant for a tour

When a candidate is visiting your employees, it is not permissible for the company to endorse the candidate or discuss the campaign. However, the candidate is free to do so in his or her remarks and conversations. 

Action items:

  • Call a candidate’s campaign office to schedule a visit; carefully plan the agenda ahead of time
  • Announce the visit in advance to your employees
  • Plan time during the visit to tell the candidate about your business, introduce your employees and share the challenges you face
  • If you plan a special presentation or other newsworthy event, consider contacting local media (radio, TV, newspapers) and “covering” the event in company communications such as newsletters or emails

(4) Hang Get-Out-The-Vote reminder posters 

Hang a sign or poster in a common area reminding your employees and customers about the date of Election Day, the polling times, etc.

Action items:

  • Create a poster or banner with the Election date, Nov. 4, 2014, or hang NFIB's GOTV poster

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