NFIB Leadership Council Concerned With UI Future
On Tuesday, October 5, NFIB Leadership Council members gathered for a retreat at Topgolf in Indianapolis. It was the first time the council had gathered in-person in nearly two years. Topics ranged from state to national issues but mostly centered around the pandemic’s impact on small business. For some, it meant an increase in revenues and for others it meant barely hanging on. The common ground for all members was the lack of workers. Many of the members are now wearing more hats in response to the labor shortage. While it’s not ideal, it’s more manageable than the supply chain disruptions that was also a source of concern and a challenge that nearly all members are experiencing.
Dan Thystrup, owner of Adventureglass in New Webster, came up with a creative solution to this issue. Dan designs and constructs paddle boats – mostly for major amusement parks across the country. When Dan was unable to meet a client deadline due to the lack of supplies, he ended up purchasing the material to make the paddle boats from the client directly.
The members also shared concerns about the future of unemployment insurance. While members unanimously opposed expanded use of the current UI system, they were in favor of changing the use of the funds to address deficiencies in the system that were identified during the pandemic. Other UI concerns that were addressed included employers role in policing fraudulent claims in cases where applicants either failed to show up for interviews and/or those that were hired on but never showed up for work on the first day. They also discussed the importance of providing job skills training to those seeking employment but recognized that making training a requirement of receiving UI wouldn’t necessarily lead to employment. You can lead the horse to the water, but you can’t make them drink it and that couldn’t hold more true during the current labor shortage.
Members also heard from NFIB’s VP of Federal Government Relations, Kevin Kuhlman, about the status of the Reconciliation bill and NFIB’s response to it. Members were encouraged to get involved and take action by letting their members of congress know how the increase of taxes would impact their business. Members also navigated into discussions of immigration and border security although NFIB doesn’t take a position or advocate on either issue. They closed out the meeting on a high note by swinging some clubs during a friendly golf game.