If you’re a small business owner like I am, much of what you do is affected by policies that come out of Washington. Of course, there are plenty of powerful people and organizations that aren’t located in D.C. And there are some who have more of an effect on certain industries than others. But for most small business owners like me, you’re going to be affected by the following people who live and work in the nation’s capital.
David Bobbitt, president of the SCORE Foundation and vice president of development at the SCORE Association. SCORE uses mostly former executives to provide no-charge mentoring and education to more than 350,000 small business owners each year. This organization is very popular with small business owners, particularly start-ups and those with little capital who need outside consulting. Bobbitt’s job is to keep it financed.
Kevin Brady, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Brady has served Texas’s 8th congressional district since 1997 and has only recently taken over this powerful post from Paul Ryan. The Committee on Ways and Means is the chief tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives. Small businesses like mine who have suffered under increased taxes over the past few years are eager to see reform in the system – lower rates, permanent deductions and credits for depreciation and research and development, the closing of loopholes – and Brady will likely be in the middle of these discussions.
Steve Chabot, chairman of the U.S. House Small Business Committee. This committee provides oversight and holds hearings on subjects such as access to capital, healthcare, taxes, regulatory reform, workplace issues and government contracting. The committee meets frequently with small business owners and policy makers to raise awareness and support House bills that impact the small business community. Chabot has been the committee’s ranking member since 2007 and one of Congress’ leading advocates against wasteful government spending. Nonpartisan taxpayer advocacy groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste, the Concord Coalition and the National Taxpayers Union rated him as one of the most pro-taxpayer members of Congress.
Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the Small Business Administration. Each year, the SBA delivers millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses, including many of my clients who rely on SBA backed finance to help grow their companies. Contreras-Sweet has significant experience in both the public and private sector, most recently as the founder of a community bank in Los Angeles.
Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. Chamber represents the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions as their voice in Washington. The organization is a lobbying group that works to craft pro-business legislation and block excessive taxes and regulations, all issues near and dear to my heart. Donahue has run this organization since 1997 and was previously the president and CEO of the American Trucking Association.
Kenneth Yancey Jr., CEO of the Score Association. Yancey has held this position since 1993 and sits on the board of the SCORE Association (see David Bobbitt above)