The Big Convention Reveal: Who Really Cares About Small Business?

Small-business owners have a reputation for determination, intense focus and attention to detail. These skills will come in handy when you tune into the upcoming presidential conventions to learn which political party cares more about you and your business.

Like the Summer Olympics, the conventions will feature lots of glitz and glitter, media chatter and countless anecdotes from years past. But you can learn a lot about which political party truly values small business by paying close attention, not only to the content of speeches, but to the selection of individuals chosen to appear throughout the events.

Nobody hates small business, especially politicians. But the important thing to know is who really fights for you in Washington. Who seriously works to keep the government from siphoning off your hard-earned cash and handcuffing you with more regulation and red tape?

I strongly urge you check out both the Republican National Convention, Aug. 27-30 and the Democratic National Convention, Sept. 3-6. Whether you attend the conventions in person, watch them live on national television, or monitor the events through YouTube, Facebook and other social media, take the time to gather information and fully inform yourself before you go to the polls.

If you are planning to attend either of the conventions as a delegate, please let us know by contacting us at We are here to serve as a resource and provide you with information to make your experience worthwhile.

Take notes. Write down the pertinent comments of speakers, review them and even read between the lines to judge who heeds the voice of small business versus who merely offers lip service to Main Street. Are they leaders who have faced or even understand the challenges of free enterprise? Do they know what it means to meet a payroll?

Witness carefully the “shout outs” that speakers give certain groups and individuals. Are those who are lifted up as heroes truly friends of small business or are they partisans who reject the proven values of free enterprise and seek to redistribute your earnings to others, hampering your ability to succeed and create jobs?

Once the convention balloons have fallen and the hoopla has ended, be sure to visit NFIB’s website and compare your notes with our key votes and other vital information on major small-business issues as determined by members’ ballots. Our website has specific segments dedicated to helping you stay informed about Washington’s every move that impacts your enterprise.

Be sure to also study our “How Congress Voted” ratings on how U.S. Senators and Representatives’ voted on small-business issues during the 112th Congress. Lawmakers will be back home until after Labor Day, so now’s the perfect time to visit their local offices and share your views directly–not only with those supporters who have earned NFIB’s Guardian of Small Business Award, but particularly with those who have fallen short of the 70 percent pro-small-business vote rating.

Let them know that you’ll be carefully watching their party’s political convention for clues about who really cares about small business. Mention that you plan to share that information with friends, family and employees before you all go to the polls on Nov. 6.

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About Dan Danner

Donald A. "Dan" Danner was named president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's leading small business association, in February, 2009. Danner is only the sixth president in the history of the organization. Before rising to the top spot, Danner was executive vice president, overseeing NFIB's federal and state public policy and political activities as well as the organization's three 501 (c) 3 operations: the Research Foundation, Small Business Legal Center and the Young Entrepreneur Foundation. He came to NFIB in 1993 as vice president of the NFIB Education Foundation (now known as the Young Entrepreneur Foundation) and was named vice president of federal public policy in 1995. Previously, he was chief of staff to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Danner also worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison, where he was special assistant to the president and deputy director of the department. Before joining the White House staff, Danner was an executive with Armco Inc., a steel manufacturing company. He held leadership positions in sales and marketing, as well as state and federal lobbying on issues such as energy, environment, taxes and trade. He also served four years as vice president of federal relations at George Mason University. A native of Middletown, Ohio, Danner holds an MBA degree from Xavier University and an electrical engineering degree from Purdue University.
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