Small business owners and friends at NFIB’s annual Small Business Day at the Capitol were treated to insightful presentations by state leaders and a panel of political experts. The event was sponsored by AT&T, Delta Dental of Tennessee and Elliott Davis, and held in partnership with the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association. The event was held at the offices of Waller Law Firm in downtown Nashville.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (Collierville), a longtime NFIB member, engaged the group of small business leaders, encouraging support of a workforce development initiative he’s sponsoring, Senate Bill 1649. The legislation is designed to improve liability framework for employers that accept or employ students receiving a secondary education to participate in specific work-based learning programs. It also creates a franchise and excise tax credit for taxpayers employing these students. NFIB supports the bill, with 81 percent of members responding affirmatively in a recent special survey.
House Finance Subcommittee Chair Gerald McCormick (Chattanooga) also encouraged the group to support various workplace development initiatives. He gave an overview of significant turnover that will occur next year in the legislature, with many legislators not running for reelection. McCormick is one of several leaders who plan to run for House speaker, which will be vacated by Beth Harwell who is running for governor.
Political experts Pat Nolan with NewsChannel 5, Debra Maggart with Civic Point and Erik Schelzig with The Tennessee Journal discussed upcoming races for governor and the U.S. Senate being vacated by Bob Corker. Nolan said neither Republicans nor Democrats have held onto the governor’s seat for 52 straight years, noting Democrats have a stronger field of candidates in top ticket races this cycle, but didn’t predict that trend would continue.