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NFIB Members Make Noise at State Capitol

Date: March 16, 2014

Small-business owners cheered, Speaker not happy

The volume was turned up at the State Capitol, March 13. 

NFIB notched another hugely successful Small Business Day at the Capitol, its annual event aimed at blunting the force of big money and reminding legislators who employs more Coloradans and generates almost every new job in the state.

The highlight of the day, however, was not a scripted one, but a spontaneous outburst. Hearing of NFIB’s event in the Old Supreme Court chambers, some state representatives invited members over to the House gallery to hear a debate over the minimum-wage rate.

To help make his point against raising the rate, Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg pointed to NFIB members and said no one knew better the negative effects it would cause than the small-business owners here with us today, prompting a ringing applause for NFIB members in the gallery.

This cheer drew a sharp rebuke from House Speaker Mark Farrandino, who pounded his gavel and said such conduct was not allowed. After threatening to empty the gallery, he settled instead for dispatching a couple of state troopers to keep order.

The rest of the day’s events were not as rollicking as that moment in the House, but they were as informative as promised. NFIB members were given special briefings State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso and Senate Minority Whip Kevin Grantham.

At lunch, NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner gave members an overview of Congressional legislation beneficial and harmful to small business, and the gazed into his crystal ball at the General Election ahead. NFIB/Colorado Leadership Council Chairman Mark Hamouz briefed members on various NFIB programs, and State Director Tony Gagliardi continued his legislative briefing from the morning session.

This year’s Small Business Day was exceptional for the opportunity NFIB members were presented to make a little more noise than usual. If you missed this year’s event, please make every effort to join us for next year’s Small Business Day at the Capitol. The more members who attend, the better we are heard, and the greater the small-business message is remembered.

Clockwise: State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, NFIB/Colorado State Director Tony Gagliardi and NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner with member Cindy Sovine-Miller.

Top row, from left to right: NFIB President and CEO Dan Danner, NFIB/Colorado State Director Tony Gagliardi and upcoming Leadership Council Chairman Roger Hays, and current NFIB/Colorado Leadership Council Chairman Mark Hamouz speak at lunch.

NFIB/Colorado's Leadership Council sits down for business after Small Business Day to plan the rest of the year's actions.

NFIB thanks its sponsors for their help in producing the 2014 Small Business Day at the Capitol.

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After threatening to empty the gallery, he settled instead for dispatching a couple of state troopers to keep order.

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