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How to get involved in local and national elections as a small business owner

As the 2020 election approaches, small businesses are increasingly aware of the impact that both local and national elections can have on their businesses and their communities. 

90% of small business owners are paying “a lot” or “some” attention to the 2020 election. –Square/Gallup Survey 

If you are a small business owner who is looking to participate in local and national elections in 2020, here are a few ways you can get involved.

1. Research candidates and identify key issues  

The first step in getting involved in the 2020 election is educating yourself about the candidates, their platforms, and any other issues that will be on the ballot. 

It’s important for small business owners to stay up-to-date with local legislators and mandates that can impact the way you do business. Keep an eye on issues related to:

  • Health care
  • Tax reform
  • Minimum wage and labor 
  • Regulation reform 
  • Trade and tariffs 
  • Economic plans 

Review candidate websites, research the voting history of current officials, and explore endorsements from organizations you trust. Then, make your decisions based on what you believe in and value. 

2. Identify issues aligned with your company’s core values 

In addition to identifying issues that impact your business operations, also consider issues related to your company’s core values. 

Are there issues that directly tie back to your organization’s mission or vision?

For example, if you sell environmentally-friendly products and your company’s mission statement includes protecting natural habitats, you may want to get behind candidates and policies that support green initiatives. 

3. Register to vote

The most important step of all is to register to vote. 

4. Make it easy for your employees to vote 

Encourage employees to vote, and make it easy for them to do so by giving them time off on Election Day if needed. Also, consider educating your team on the issues that will impact your business, but be careful not to attempt to influence their vote. 

For advice on how to handle election conversions with your team, use this PDF guide created by the National Business Association.

5. Connect with local politicians

Find out who your local officials are and get engaged. Use a site like My Reps to find a list of state, county, and city elected officials based on your business address and then get in touch with them. 

  • Share your story so politicians and candidates can see how their policies directly affect your business and community.
  • Schedule time to meet with them in their office.
  • Invite them to visit and tour your business. 
  • Let candidates know they have your support and ask how you can help.

Related: U.S. state and local resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

6. Use your platform and power

Demonstrate support for candidates and issues that can make a difference in your community and business. 

  • Tell the story of why you support a specific candidate or policy. 
  • Write letters to the editor.
  • Display signage endorsements around your business location.
  • Share endorsements through your digital platforms. 
  • Attend, promote, and financially support fundraising events. 
  • Host a fundraiser of your own. 

For more tips on how to get your business involved with local and national elections, check out the election resource center created by the National Federation of Independent Business.

Get your small business involved in the 2020 election 

Elections create change, and any change will impact your business and your community in both the short and long term. You can get involved in shaping the direction of those changes and make your voice heard in November. 

For more tips on navigating this unique and complex time for small businesses, discover more resources and guides at OpenWeStand.org.