Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SBA Counsel Offers Lobbying Tips

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SBA Counsel Offers Lobbying Tips

Article excerpt

Personal contacts, not money or lobbying, is the best way for small business people to influence Congress, the chief counsel for advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration told a gathering of Oklahoma entrepreneurs Friday.

Contributions, lobbying and personal contacts are the three ways to influence national lawmakers, Jere Glover told around 300 business people who participated in the Oklahoma convention of the White House Conference on Small Business.

During the 1994 elections, $589 million was contributed to campaigns for U.S. senators and representatives, Glover said. Most of that money did not come from small businesses.

As for lobbyists, there are 30,000 of them in Washington, D.C.

"There are about as many lobbyists as grains of sand on the beach," Glover said.

But less than 10 of them work full time and exclusively for small business, he said.

Personal contact is where small business owners and employees can "really make a difference," Glover said.

"The beautiful thing about the White House conference process is it allows you a reason to speak to your congressman or senator.

"One of the reasons we have trouble asking for things as small business people is we are a very proud bunch of people. But as elected delegates you aren't asking for yourself, you're asking for all small business people in the state. You've got a lot of clout there."

Some of the measures of small business clout: Of Oklahoma businesses, 63,000 _ or 97 percent _ employ fewer than 500 workers. Each year 7,000 new small businesses are created in the state. Oklahoma's small businesses employ 57 percent of the workforce, and enjoy $4 billion in annual profits.

Nationwide, the large, Fortune 500 companies' share of employees has been on a steady decline since 1969, Glover said.

Not only do small businesses employ an increasingly greater portion of the workforce, they create 55 percent of the highest wage jobs. …

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