First Meeting of Bipartisan Caucus Will Set Framework for New Group Focused on Educating Congress on Power of America’s Largest Private Employer, Family Businesses
After many years in development, the newly formed bipartisan Congressional Family Business Caucus kicks off its first meeting on Capitol Hill on February 28.
At the first meeting, several family business executives will be speaking and telling their stories to Representatives Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), and Henry Cuellar (D-TX), who serve as caucus co-chairs. It is the first Congressional caucus focused solely on the critical issues facing generationally-owned family businesses of all sizes and industries across the United States.
Among the company executives speaking at the Feb. 28 meeting will be Ryan Rogers, CEO of Mary Kay, Scott Marshall CEO of Marshall Bio Resources and Mike Mitchell CEO of the High Center and former owner of Amelia’s LLC. They will discuss the issues facing family businesses across the country. Companies also attending in support of the caucus are such companies as USI, Chubb, MPI, First Republic Bank, and South Dakota Trust.
The primary mission of the caucus is educating Members of Congress on the importance of America’s family businesses and connecting them with multi-generational family businesses in their districts and home states.
In addition to those attending the meeting, several major associations are in full support of the new caucus, including American Farm Bureau, National Beer Wholesalers Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Winegrape Growers of America, National Restaurant Association, and the American Trucking Associations. The associations have pledged their full support for the new caucus.
The Congressional Family Business Caucus is open to all members of Congress seeking to learn more about generational owned family business issues, which affect 59 percent of the nation’s private workforce, or 83.3 million workers. There are 32.4 million family businesses in the U.S, representing $7.7 trillion in annual GDP.
“Family businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing the majority of America’s private sector workforce and representing trillions of dollars of our economy each year,” said Rep. Schneider, on the formation of the caucus. “Yet, in speaking with family businesses from all parts of our country, they feel our current economic policies place them at a disadvantage, impede their capacity to grow, and put at risk their ability to pass on ownership of the business to the next generation,” he said. “As such, it is time for Congress to take a closer look at and better understand the needs of America’s family businesses. Establishment of the Congressional Family Business Caucus – which is long overdue – will go a long way toward keeping our family businesses at the forefront of policymaking and foster an environment that helps them thrive for generations to come.”
Several association and organizations, including Family Enterprise USA and the Policy and Taxation Group, have been working with Capitol Hill leadership on the formation of this new family business-focused caucus and welcome its members, and supporting associations, to raise awareness of the issues facing family businesses on Capitol Hill.
The advantage of having a Congressional caucus is so family businesses have a voice in Congress, according to Pat Soldano, President, Family Enterprise USA, a supporter of the new caucus and an advocate for multi-generational family-owned businesses.
“We’ve been working for the growth of America’s family businesses for decades, but today our voice has greater power with this bipartisan Congressional Caucus,” she said. “We applaud this development and look forward to working with the Caucus, and associations, to help bring the importance of family businesses front and center to the many issues facing this country.” Soldano is also President of the Policy and Taxation Group.
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