Giving Small Business a Voice: The Back Story – Part One

Elliot Richardson, president of Small Business Advocacy Council

Elliot started out as a lawyer and ran a 30 person law firm.  In his work at the firm, he became increasingly frustrated with the government and its inability to take on and resolve issues that were affecting small business.  The cost of healthcare for small businesses was through the roof and procuring capital became increasingly difficult.  Elliot thought that the answer was to run for Congress and change government from the inside.

 

Elliot ran for Congress in 2010.  The primary came in April of that year and, while he was not elected, he took what he learned while campaigning and refocused his energy.  In May of 2010 he started the SBAC, a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit political organization advocating on behalf of small business.   What Elliot found while campaigning was that there was a lot of skepticism among small business owners.  When he would start talking, he could actually hear the eyeballs start rolling in the heads of the entrepreneurs to whom he was speaking.  Politicians talked about small business as the “backbone of the country,” but they are not doing enough to support small business.   He set about trying to make SBAC the solution that would stand behind and with the small business owners and entrepreneurs and make things better for them.  His goals were, and are, ambitious.

 

Based on data from the Council of Smaller Entrepreneurs the SBAC has over 500 members and holds dozens of events monthly.  The SBAC also has alliances to other like-minded organization and services as a model for other regional organizations

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