The voice of small business is growing louder

One message was clear at the recent Governor’s Small Business Summit: it’s up to the private sector – small businesses in particular – to create jobs. In an effort to reach his goal of creating 250,000 jobs by 2014, Gov. Walker hosted more than 270 business representatives at the summit to meet with cabinet secretaries, governmental leadership and other executives to address the challenges and concerns currently facing small businesses.

The administration articulated that it’s focusing on establishing an environment of economic certainty and stability in order to help stimulate job creation. Their support for small business was evident as Gov. Walker signed Senate Bill 47, which adjusted small business representation in the Small Business Regulatory Review Board from six to seven members. Ultimately, the bill gives small business owners a greater voice on proposed legislation designed to help fuel business development and job creation.

But, with protestors demonstrating loudly during Gov. Walker’s address, we’re reminded that in the midst of political uncertainty, it can be hard to see progress. However, it was clear from the day’s presentations that if you look beyond the doubt, real reform is starting to take shape.  With the vision, direction and leadership needed to move our state forward in place, we, as small business owners, need to do all we can to ensure that this administration is given the time necessary to make their vision for Wisconsin a reality.

The summit rallied small businesses together  to not only recognize the significant impact they make on our state’s economy, but also to provide an outlet for business representatives to voice their concerns, hear initiatives being implemented to combat those concerns, and gain further ideas on how to strengthen their individual efforts. With that information still fresh in mind, it’s time that we stand united to create economic change for a better Wisconsin.

During the summit, Gov. Walker commented that as a minister’s son, he was often asked why you preach to a choir. His response was, “…you preach to the choir so they will sing.” So, that’s my request to business leaders throughout the state – simply sing! Use the momentum generated on Tuesday to drive your business plans forward.

As we come together to help ensure a prosperous future – one that promotes job growth and allows our state to remain a great place to live and do business – we simultaneously help this administration work toward building a thriving future for Wisconsin.

Mary Scheibel is chair of the MMAC’s Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE) and principal owner of Scheibel Halaska, a strategic communications firm in Milwaukee.

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