Point of Beginning

Sight Lines: Change Starts Here

November 5, 2008
Around the nation this morning, many are celebrating Barack Obama’s victory in the race for the White House as heralding much-needed change for our country. But if we want to see real change that positively affects our lives and businesses, we can’t just sit back and see what happens starting in January. We each have to step up to the plate in this moment and do what we can to effect change within our own circles of influence.

Around the nation this morning, many are celebrating Barack Obama’s victory in the race for the White House as heralding much-needed change for our country. But I wonder how many people are missing the point? All political preferences aside, if we want to see real change that positively affects our lives and businesses, we can’t just sit back and see what happens starting in January. We each have to step up to the plate in this moment and do what we can to effect change within our own circles of influence. Change doesn’t start in the White House; it starts here, with each individual.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the next two months will be a crucial time for businesses and individuals to help shape national policies. “While November and December are often regarded as the lame-duck session of Congress, it is important to understand that many key policy decisions are made during this transitional period,” says NFIB President Todd Stottlemyer. “In addition, the new administration will also be outlining their key goals. Business owners can help shape the national policy discourse in the coming weeks and months by making their voices heard.”

NFIB suggests taking the following actions:
  • Learn the issues that affect small business. Health care, energy and taxes top the list on a national level, but business owners should also understand the issues that affect them locally.
  • Contact your representatives in Congress. This is especially important if your member is newly elected.
  • Tell your story. Write letters to the editor of your local or regional paper [or POB] discussing the difficulties of running a small business and advocate policies that would offer business owners relief.
Many surveying and engineering businesses are facing monumental challenges in the current economy. When you’re focused on trying to find enough work to survive, it can be difficult to step back and look at the big picture. But as America witnesses a historic moment, we must remember that we each have a role to play in shaping the future. By getting involved-through the actions listed above as well as through networking, professional associations and industry publications such as POB-each of us can make a difference. Change starts with you and me.

What issues matter the most to your business, and how are you getting involved to try to influence future policies? Share your tips with other readers here or e-mail me at pobeditor@bnpmedia.com.