Business leaders usually fall into two schools of thought when it comes to government influence over private business.
The first approach is: "They don’t bother us, so we don’t bother them.” This may work for some small businesses, but is it really accurate?
The other sentiment is: “If it weren’t for regulatory burden, our business would be lightyears ahead.” There is some truth to this, but it’s probably an oversimplification.
The reality is likely somewhere in between. However, you must recognize that whether you’re engaged in a government relations campaign or not, existing and new laws will impact your business. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on the legislative landscape.
The Importance of Regulation
While we may not agree with all of the laws that affect the way private businesses operate, there are important protections that these laws provide. Many congressional committees are tasked with ensuring that small businesses operate safely and are provided important growth opportunities.
Committees are also charged with various oversight responsibilities, including the regulation of labor, employment, and critical functions of business management. Some committees legislate the health, safety, and environment in our workplaces and communities. Then, there are human rights matters, such as nondiscrimination laws.
At UrbanLink, we can help businesses identify and influence bills that may impact them. Below is a sampling of the committees in the 116th Congress, as well as some bills that are likely to pass both the House and the Senate.
Bills to Watch in 2019
Investing in Main Street
If your business will require an investment from a financial institution in the near future, you may be interested to know that the House Committee on Small Business is working on H.R. 116: Investing in Main Street Act of 2019. The bill proposes to amend the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to increase the amount that certain banks and savings associations may invest in small business investment companies, subject to the approval of the appropriate federal banking agency.
If you currently work with government grants or intend to in the future, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security is hoping to modernize federal grant reporting with the passing of H.R. 150: Grant Reporting Efficiency and Agreements Transparency Act of 2019.
American Business Through Diplomacy
Looking to expand your business internationally? The House Committee on Foreign Affairs proposes to foster commercial relations with foreign countries and support United States economic and business interests abroad in the conduct of foreign policy with the implementation of H.R. 1704: Championing American Business Through Diplomacy Act of 2019.
Keeping Up With Proposed Laws
There are always new proposed laws on the horizon, so how do you stay on top of what’s coming down the pike?
Legislative tracking is a value-add function of a full-service public affairs team. Tracking lays the groundwork for advocacy opportunities that can move the needle on matters that affect you most.