The Power of One Small Business Voice

Date: May 01, 2024

NFIB member Claudia Smith shares her impactful advocacy story on the Small Business Rundown

NFIB member Claudia Smith shares her small business story and the power of her voice on the Small Business Rundown. Claudia owns Aggieland Carpet One in College Station, Texas, with her husband. It was passed down to them from her husband’s mother in 1990, and they were ready for the new challenge of being small business owners. Since then,

Claudia has met with U.S. Senators and the Governor of Texas, which resulted in her seeing firsthand the impact of sharing her story.

At a roundtable event with U.S. Senator Cornyn (TX), Claudia and other small business owners were invited to share current challenges and future concerns. This meeting gave Senator Cornyn an understanding of what issues impact Texas small businesses through allowing everyone a chance to speak.

“My biggest concern at the time was being able to provide health insurance for my employees,” explains Claudia. “We’re a very small company, but I always felt that if my employees were healthy and well taken care of, I would have a successful business… Sen. Cornyn was very receptive to this. I made my voice heard in 30 seconds, and I was very surprised that a year later when I was hearing Sen. Cornyn talk, I heard him talk about me and my business. I never thought those 30 seconds would last a whole year.”

Claudia later visited the state capital of Texas and met with Governor Greg Abbott to discuss different small business issues including property tax relief and inventory tax. Claudia also met with U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (TX) at one of NFIB’s annual DC Fly-In events. During these experiences, she shared her perspective and raised her concerns over tax laws in small group settings.

“When I was a new member with NFIB, I never realized that my voice was really going to be heard,” says Claudia. “When I went to the Fly-In, I didn’t know what to expect. I felt like I wasn’t a good communicator, and I didn’t know how to tell my story… The first day of the Fly-In, we had a class on how to get our story across and how to communicate it better to our legislators… The next day when we were able to meet with [lawmakers], we were doing it in a more effective way.”

Claudia’s story amplifies the importance of one person’s voice in helping lawmakers realize and understand small business issues. NFIB advocates on behalf of small businesses, but the biggest difference is made when lawmakers hear directly from a small business owner about how an issue has – or will – impact their business.

“Each one of us had a story to tell, and as you know, stories really stick to people and explain our issues better.” The full podcast episode, “NFIB Member Highlight: Claudia Smith and the Power of One Voice,” is available now. Tune in to hear more from Claudia and her advocacy experience.

Your story matters, too. Take action and share your story with lawmakers.


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