NFIB member Karen Wischmeier shares how NFIB has helped her find her voice as a small business owner.
On July 17, NFIB member Karen Wischmeier, owner of Wischmeier Tax & Accounting in Scottsburg, Ind., attended her first NFIB Annual D.C. Fly-In—the first of many to come, she says.
In addition to learning more about the issues that affect small businesses today, the D.C. Fly-In provided an opportunity to educate members of Congress on critical issues such as minimum wage, permanently extending the Small Business Deduction, and how the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 would increase regulatory burdens.
While it’s only been one year since Wischmeier joined NFIB, it wasn’t long before she realized the extent of NFIB’s reach as the voice of small business.
Prior to learning about NFIB, Wischmeier was unaware of how NFIB made it easy to find various laws that were being discussed in the House and Senate floors at the federal level as well as the state level in Indiana.
“I was impressed by the website,” says Wischmeier. “I knew that by becoming an NFIB member, I would be able to see which laws would be helping small businesses and which would be hurting small businesses. NFIB provides small business owners the opportunity to have their voices heard.”
Finding Her Voice
In addition to the resources NFIB offers, it was the opportunities provided to Wischmeier that stood out the most.
On the first day of her membership, Wischmeier reached out to her state director and local congressman. Within an hour, her local congressman’s office was in contact with her and had a meeting set up within a week. “It was so easy,” says Wischmeier.
A few months later, NFIB’s Indiana state director set up a meeting with Wischmeier, fellow NFIB member Indiana Sen. Mike Braun, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, and a group of medical professionals from all over Indiana to discuss healthcare reform issues.
“HRAs are something we discussed in the meeting,” says Wischmeier. “I presented a plan to reform and revitalize healthcare and it was very well received. Both senators said, ‘we need you in Washington,’ and I thought they were joking. But three weeks prior to the D.C. Fly-In, I got a call from the White House to meet the president and be at the signing of the HRA reform legislation bill.”
That was the meeting that really highlighted the power that NFIB has in Washington and at the state level, adds Wischmeier.
Tips and Takeaways from the Fly-In
Attending the D.C. Fly-In was no question for Wischmeier. The biggest takeaways from the event included how to lobby, how to establish a relationship with local representatives and senators, and how to communicate with them effectively.
As a first-time attendee, the key to the event is being prepared.
“Know your issues, know what you want to say, and have all your I’s dotted and all your T’s crossed,” says Wischmeier. “You have to go in knowing the facts and you have to be able to tell how it affects you personally or someone you know. That is the one thing that really grasps the attention of representatives, so the personal attachment is key to everything.”
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