Tillis joins Illuminating Technologies to gain firsthand perspective of small business.
U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis joined Illuminating Technologies, a family-owned independent distributor of lighting systems in Greensboro, N.C., last month to participate in an NFIB Small Business Challenge.
A Small Business Challenge is an event hosted by an NFIB member where elected leaders spend a day working at a small business in their community, exposing them to the unique challenges of running small businesses. While at Illuminating Technologies, Tillis changed a standard lighting fixture into an LED, energy-efficient one and spoke with employees.
“Being in the Senate, you can only get so much down in the vacuum of the Capitol,” said Tillis. “When you’re out and talking to business owners, you’re hearing the challenges that they have with regulatory burdens, with tax burdens. You can take that information and go back and create policies like the tax reform bill that’s had an enormous impact on small businesses.”
“It meant a lot to have him come,” said Gordon Hunt, president and chief marketing officer at Illuminating Technologies. “It makes a nice statement in the community that we’re more than a lighting company, we’re a member of NFIB. We have over 7,000 member companies in North Carolina, and that’s a big voice.”
“I would encourage anybody to have their representatives, senators, congressmen, have them come in and see what you do,” he continued. “NFIB made this very easy.”
Hunt encouraged his employees and other small business owners to attend the event.
“I reached out to friends, business owners, business operators to say ‘hey, we’ve got this event come ask the Senator questions, he’ll take any question you have,’” said Hunt. “They said, ‘do I have to be a member?’ No, I said, but you should be.”
“NFIB isn’t just the voice of small business; it is the loud voice of small business,” he continued. “The voice of the owners, the members, what they say, drives everything they do in policy. They are getting the genuine perspective of the business community.”
If you’d like to learn more about how host a Small Business Challenge, visit our Communicate with Elected Officials page for information about how to get started.
Tillis is the ninth Senator to take the Small Business Challenge since the program’s inception.