House measure gives 'small business leaders a face,' Wheeler says
Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) and House Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) congratulated the small-business community with HR 778.
At the House floor debate Wednesday, Wheeler, a small-business owner, took time to congratulate the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for 75 years of service, sharing generations of family involvement in the association.
“I am an NFIB member for more than 25 years,” Wheeler said. “My father was a business owner and an NFIB member for multiple decades. Even my grandfather was a small business owner and NFIB member years ago.”
The representative told House floor members if they hadn't dealt with the NFIB, they should understand it is a member-driven organization.
"It states in the resolution itself that the policies of the NFIB that advocate for small business are member mandates," Wheeler said, adding 70 percent of NFIB members have to agree on an issue before the group will advocate for it. "It’s truly designed to be a small business owner's voice within Springfield and Washington."
Wheeler said the House was "giving small business leaders a face."
"If you look up in the Speakers Gallery, you will see members of the NFIB Illinois Leadership Council," Wheeler said. "I know them, I respect them and I listen to them. In fact, if I wasn’t elected and sitting down here, I would be up there with them right now as part of them."
He continued, noting the policies and regulations enacted in Springfield directly affect NFIB members.
"They live (with) what we do to them every single day and that impacts the families in our districts that work for them," Wheeler said. "Seriously, if you want to look at entrepreneurial growth and job growth, which we all talk about in this place, ask them."
Wheeler offered personal thanks to Illinois Director Mark Grant, NFIB Illinois state director, and Kim Maisch, former NFIB Illinois director, for their years of work, as well as to the entire group present.
"Thank you for what you do here in Springfield and back in your districts with your businesses that help all those families who depend on you for a livelihood and opportunity to support themselves," Wheeler said, adding he also thanks past and future NFIB members. "We sincerely appreciate it. You don’t hear it enough, but it is real."
Durkin also shared his support for the NFIB.
“We often talk about small businesses being the backbone of our economy, well those are the faces right up there in our Speakers Gallery,” Durkin said while looking up to the NFIB members. “Those are the ones who day in and day out put people to work.”
Durkin said when lawmakers often take up issues that affect small businesses, NFIB members pay for it.
“Let’s work with them,” Durkin said. “Small businesses in Illinois should not be vilified, they should be given a hero’s welcome every day, so thank you for staying in the state of Illinois. God Bless you.”