Why & How Does NFIB/Ohio Get Involved In Political Races

Date: September 27, 2016 Last Edit: October 06, 2016

The NFIB/Ohio’s staff advocates for our over 25,000
members at the Ohio Statehouse on issues that impact their ability to own,
operate and grow their businesses.  When
we are talking about issues such as workers’ compensation, unemployment
compensation, government spending, and taxes, it is imperative that we can discuss these topics with legislators who
have an understanding of the complexities of Ohio’s economy and the impact they
have on our state’s economic vitality. That is why we are heavily involved in
the election process.   

NFIB/Ohio’s staff monitors races year-round to follow
their likely impact on Ohio’s small business community and to determine where
the best opportunities are to make a difference. The scope of our research
ranges from individual candidates to the larger state political environment.

Due to limited resources, NFIB/Ohio is not able to be
involved in every race; instead, we focus
our efforts in select statewide races and districts. Key races, as determined
by NFIB/Ohio, are the political campaigns whose outcomes hold the largest stake
for Ohio small-business owners.

Key elements in
NFIB/Ohio’s involvement in races include:

  1. Voter education
  2. Voter registration and early voting
  3. Grassroots mobilization
  4. Media campaigns
  5. Direct candidate support

NFIB/Ohio is involved supporting over 70 candidates in
the 2016 November election. These pro-small business candidates will have a
dramatic influence on shaping public policy in the next two years in Columbus.
It is vital that Ohio’s entrepreneurs pay attention and get involved! 

For a list of NFIB/Ohio endorsed candidates, click here: https://www.nfib.com/content/nfib-in-my-state/elections/vote-on-november-8-75342/

1. Voter Education

Educating small-business owners and their employees is
one of our top priorities. It is especially important in heavily contested
races, to cut through the clutter and educate and activate the small business
voting bloc, by providing timely, non-partisan and accurate voter information.
Throughout the election cycle, we provide a comprehensive series of direct
voter communications to our members that include where candidates stand on the
issues that affect their bottom line, suggestions on how to speak to your
employees about elections, and issue briefs.

2. Voter
Registration and Early Voting

NFIB understands that running a business is demanding and
can prevent members from becoming as involved in politics as they would like.
That is why we place a major emphasis on helping business owners to vote.  Furthermore, early voting is an incredibly
helpful way for busy small business owners to make their voice heard without
being constrained to vote on one single day. Therefore, we also place a special
emphasis on informing members about early and absentee voting deadlines.

3. Grassroots

NFIB/Ohio is a grassroots-driven
organization. In selecting candidates to support, we conduct a thorough
member-driven process that involves collecting candidate voting records on
small-business issues, candidate questionnaires to ascertain where they stand
on issues important to our members, district surveys and candidate interviews.  No endorsement is made without the support of members in Ohio.

Once we have made the determination to support a
candidate we help to mobilize our members to support them. We believe that it
is the power of individual members, who come together as a whole, that has the
largest impact on the elections and policies that affect small business. We
emphasize grassroots mobilization in key races through get-out-the-vote member
communications, coordinating volunteer opportunities with endorsed candidates in
the lead up to Election Day.

Also, our 21 Area
Action Council across the state allow us the opportunity to bring candidates
directly to our members to answer questions and let them get to know just who
they are voting for in the general election.  These Area Action Council have helped lead to
over 30 members of NFIB serving in the Ohio Legislature.

4. Media Campaigns

NFIB/Ohio recognizes that small businesses are the
backbone of our economy, and in some highly competitive races NFIB extends our
advocacy to a much larger audience through mass media campaigns. We have experience
with reaching like-minded voters through broadcast, online advertising, cable,
radio, and newsprint.

5. Candidate

In addition to our grassroots and other political
advocacy efforts, NFIB/Ohio provides direct assistance to endorsed candidates.
Through the Ohio SAFE Trust, NFIB/Ohio provides financial support and creates
opportunities for candidates to interact with our members. Additionally, NFIB/Ohio
acts as an educational resource for candidates who wish to further their
understanding of small business issues.

Over the years, NFIB/Ohio has grown and developed its
political and grassroots programs to be among the most effective and recognized
in Ohio’s business community. Our history of success has made NFIB/Ohio’s
support highly sought after by candidates because they recognize that our
grassroots network can be a key to their successful campaign. Ohio is recognized around the country as having the
most active members within NFIB.  YOU
understand the importance of getting involved!

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