After a behind-the-scenes tour of longstanding local business, Anderson Coach & Travel (ACT), a group of about 30 small business owners, within Pennsylvania's 3rd District (many in the Greenville area) and organizations like the Greenville Chamber gathered together at Anderson's conference room. Gracious hosts, Doug Anderson and Sue Nicklin Anderson of ACT, opened the opportunity for our local small businesses to meet face-to-face with our U.S. Representative, Mike Kelly to discuss some of the issues and concerns small businesses face today.
The big takeaway? After an emboldened speech from the congressman it was clear that small businesses must continue to fight. Kelly ensured the group that Congress is indeed "getting things done" although it is mostly perceived and reported by media that nothing is being done. The problem? There is obviously dysfunction within our government, across political divides, that is something everyone can agree on. The problem can be reduced to the branches of government not serving the actual purposes they were intended for as well as who it is we vote in to represent us, the people.
As discouraging as all of this can be, as complicated the tax code is, as burdensome regulations are and out of touch policies seem to be with the actual reality we live in, Kelly encouraged the group to keep in the fight, to not disengage and to continue to get involved at the local level.
I am not sure anyone walked away with The Answer (the program went over in the schedule time and I wasn't able to stay for the very end), or even any answers (at least not answers we were hoping for) and Kelly was certainly honest about it, even if in a comical way. He walked us through an impossible scenario: An issue is brought to the House, a resolution is agreed upon and passed by the House, and then the Senate passes without any amendments or special interest inserts, lastly to be agreed upon and signed by the President. That is not the reality that we live in and I think most that were present understand that very well... so why even meet? We are still hopeful and our voices must still be heard. The answer may not have been what anyone wanted to hear... but the message was clear - there is still a lot of work ahead of us and we must not give up fighting for it.