Great Year for Advocacy in Region 6
By Rhett Davis, Region 6 Advocate
The Office of Advocacy traveled extensively throughout Region 6 in 2018, listening to the regulatory concerns of small businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. We were honored to host or participate in more than 50 events from New Orleans to Santa Fe – and from Laredo to Little Rock.
The topics raised were as diverse as the terrain. Healthcare was the most frequently mentioned issue. We also learned a lot about ADA regulations, wetlands mitigation, flood insurance, federal contract procurement, taxation, trucking requirements, and more.
On a personal note, after my first full year on the job, I am amazed by the small business leaders across our region. I found them to be exceptionally intelligent, caring, and tenacious. I am so encouraged about the future of America knowing that these “superheroes” are in every city and town across the nation making our economy work.
While some in our society may have the luxury of living in a theoretical world, small business owners live in reality. They must meet a payroll by a certain date. They must obtain certain licenses and pay taxes in order to stay in business. They must make a profit, or they don’t get paid. The responsibility for success falls on their shoulders. Their employees depend on them. They are some amazing people.
Whether they live in the desert, next to a bayou, on a mountainside, or on the U.S.-Mexico border, they all seem to have an amazingly consistent attitude about the regulation of businesses by the federal government: They are fine with it, as long as it makes sense. However, they abhor rules that are duplicative, confusing, overly burdensome, and unnecessary. They just want federal laws and regulations to be rooted in common sense. After all, as I was told so often, “I don’t have time for all of this. I have a business to run, and my employees and their families are depending on me.”
If you’ve been looking for heroes in 2018 America, I have great news. I have found them. They are the small business owners in Region 6 and beyond.
It is an honor to work on behalf of these folks on a daily basis. I look forward to another great year in 2019, and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Rhett Davis serves as the Region 6 Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Davis works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of Region 6 to Washington DC. He can be reached at Rhett.Davis@sba.gov.