How To Keep Up With Small Business Legislation That Could Impact Your Business
By Dawn Mentzer: Connect with me! Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+
Taxes, healthcare, legal reform, labor laws, the environment, energy, technology, transportation and infrastructure, education, campaign finance, economic development, local government, workforce development, privatization, fiscal policies…the short list of topics that show up on legislative agendas at the local, state and federal government levels.
You’re on top of all of them right? Although not all of the issues and propositions will affect you as an entrepreneur, some most definitely will make an impact on how you do business.
Too busy to keep informed?
Here are some easy to access resources you can turn to for legislative and small business advocacy updates:
US Chamber of Commerce – Their Small Business Nation website section lists current legislative topics and issues occurring at the Federal level. The US Chamber also has a business Facebook page and Twitter account, so you can “like” and “follow” to get regular updates via your social networks.
In addition, the Take Action section of the Chamber website lists key issues affecting small businesses. It also gives you online access to communicating with your elected officials. You can even register to receive issue alerts via email.
SBA (Small Business Administration) Office of Advocacy – They have a web page devoted to Regulatory Alerts. Listed there are documents published in the Federal Register that could significantly impact small businesses. In addition to a description about each proposed action, the site also provides a link for readers to submit comments directly to the government agency that owns each issue.
Updates are even more accessible via subscribing to the SBA’s Small Business Watchdog Blog – or you can “like” the Office of Advocacy Facebook page and “follow” them on Twitter.
Some other sources of legislative and advocacy news:
Local Chambers of Commerce – The depth of information and level of involvement varies across chambers, but yours might have a strong focus on advocacy. Check out your local chamber’s website for info. They might also have a blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account that provides news about small business legislation and describes how issues might affect your immediate business community. Generally, you do not have to be a chamber member to access info about their advocacy activities and information.
State Chambers of Commerce – Focused on state legislative actions, these organizations also keep an eye on the impact that federal propositions will have on businesses within their states. Like the US Chamber, state chambers have websites that include an advocacy (or similarly named) section, and they use social media as a tool for keeping small business owners in the know about legislative activity that could affect them.
Local government officials’ websites – The amount of direct information provided can vary widely, but most representatives’ websites at the very least provide links to resources that give details about current legislative proposals and actions. Many also allow you to subscribe to their e-newsletters and connect with them on social media.
Keeping informed about pending legislation can be rather dry stuff, but it’s important. For the sake of your business, you should know what’s pending so you can make your voice heard (in support or in opposition). Thankfully, tapping the right resources is easier than ever before.
How do you stay informed?
Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net