HELENA, Mont., Nov. 13, 2014—Last week’s election was not the only big one going on in November. Starting this week, ballots are being sent to the nearly 6,000 Montana small-business-owning members of the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest small-business association.
Every year, NFIB asks its members for their opinions on state and national issues in two separate ballots that, based on member preference, are either sent to them by email, fax, or regular post. Results from the polls direct NFIB’s lobbying positions in Helena and in Washington D.C., and, along with legislative testimony, special fax polls, and visits to small businesses throughout the year, back its claim to be the true Voice of Small Business.
Small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses. They have different difficulties
in remaining solvent. This is why since 1943 NFIB has been reminding Congress and legislatures in all 50 states that some of the things they think they’re doing for the good of Main Street, mom-and-pop enterprises are actually harmful, mainly because of the failure to make the distinction between a small and a large enterprise.
Past NFIB polls have asked members’ opinions on such issues as unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation premiums, and the cost of health care. “Unlike many other advocacy organizations that rely on a board of directors or a committee to direct policy positions, NFIB gives all member businesses, no matter their size, an equal vote on what NFIB’s positions should be on crucial public policy issues that affect small businesses,” said NFIB/Montana State Director Riley Johnson.
Because it cannot always be predicted when or if legislation will be introduced in any given year, NFIB will rely on the results of this year’s poll, as well as other polls done in recent years, to guide its lobbying efforts. NFIB does not ask questions on social issues or foreign policy ones in order to maintain its seven-decade credibility on knowing of what it speaks: Small business and all the attendant issues that affect its members’ ability to own, operate, and grow their enterprises.
The 2015 NFIB Montana Member Ballot asks four questions:
- Do you favor legislation requiring employers in Montana to give employees a guaranteed number of days of annual paid sick leave?
- Should Montana’s state constitution be amended to require a super-majority rather than a simple majority vote by the Legislature to enact a tax increase?
- Should Montana expand Medicaid coverage for all individuals up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), as envisioned by the new Affordable Care Act?
- Should Montana file an application with the U.S. Congress to convene a convention of the states for the purpose of proposing a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.
National Federation of Independent Business/Montana
491 South Park Ave.
Helena, MT 59601