NCET explore business and technology
By Tom Clark
The deadline for candidates to file for office and compete in the 2016 Primary and General Elections has come and gone, and now it’s time to take stock on how your vote can impact small and mid-size businesses in Nevada.
We all know the impact the policies passed in the 2015 Legislative Session have had on businesses in Nevada. Regardless of how you feel about the policy and tax changes approved by the last Legislature, if there’s one lesson to be learned it’s that being informed is key for business owners whether you aim to lobby against a particular policy or at the very least be in a position to prepare for the change.
Participating in the political process is as simple as calling candidates and inviting them to your business so that they can see first-hand the impact that your business has on the economy. It doesn’t matter if you are a service provider, a manufacturer, developer or retail location. You have a voice in the political environment and candidates welcome these opportunities to learn more about constituents and to educate voters about their candidacy and issue positions.
Candidates want to know what is happening. If elected, they want to go to Carson City in 2017 armed with knowledge that can help them make the difficult decisions that come before them. Don’t be surprised if you become an asset to Legislators and they call on you to testify or provide them with additional information. One of the benefits of a citizen legislature.
While the Nevada Legislature is important, remember the old adage “all politics are local.” Reach out to the candidates for the Washoe County Commission, Reno and Sparks City Councils, and the Washoe County school board. The decisions these candidates and potential officer-holders could make will have a more direct, impact on your business, not just every two years like the Legislature.
In most cases the business public only reaches out to their local and state representatives when something is happening that they don’t support. Candidates and elected officials are approachable and they really do want to hear from you anytime, particularly before contentious issues arise.
Economic development and education have been the biggest issues in the last few years, a trend that will continue. Small and mid-sized businesses are the fuel that feed the economic engine in our state.
We rely on a strong work force coming out of our education system. Elected officials want to know what is working and where improvements need to be made. They need and want to understand the true impact that their decisions have on your business and our community.
There are a number of resources available to the public to find out who is running for office. Lists of the candidates that have filed can be found at the Washoe County and Secretary of State websites.
Tom Clark is president of Tom Clark Solutions and NCET’s VP of Public Affairs. This column originally appeared in the Reno Gazette-Journal.