Sign on to a Business Owners’ Letter Asking to Meet Sen. Toomey

In my conversations with a range of other small business owners, we’re all really concerned about the first few weeks of the Trump Presidency, both as citizens, but also as business owners.

As a result, we hatched the idea of trying to approach Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, requesting for a meeting to discuss our concerns as business owners and asking for him to explain how he would support policies that we believe are important for growth. After all, small businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs in the country, and if there’s one thing that two parties can agree on, it’s job creation — so hopefully, our words carry just an ounce of extra weight.

The idea was to write the letter from the perspective of a business, with concerns framed in business terms; it was also to try to keep the letter to a page of text or less. Below is the first draft. Comments are encouraged!

So far, there are 15 businesses who have signed on, employing nearly 300 Pennsylvanians. If you’re a business owner and you’d like to sign on too, please start by filling out this form here.

Dear Senator Toomey:
We write as the owners or executives of 15 small Pennsylvania businesses that employ 295 Pennsylvanians. Like most small business owners, our day-to-day energies are usually focused more on serving our clients, employees, and communities instead of engaging in politics.
However, the first several weeks of the Trump Presidency have raised serious concerns to us as business owners, and we are keen to understand how you are planning to stop some of the policies and proposals that we know will hurt our businesses and place at risk the jobs we create.
Although our individual viewpoints are varied, we are particularly concerned about the following:
· The uncertainty around the future of health insurance creates an enormous amount of risk to us as small business owners; so too does the possibility that the Affordable Care Act may be repealed without a definitive viewpoint as to what may replace it. We want to understand how you will ensure that changes to the healthcare system will not harm our employees, our businesses, or the communities that support us.
· Recent changes in travel and immigration policy, and the threat of additional measures, serve to project the message that the United States is not a welcoming country for immigrants and foreign nationals. Many of our businesses — and the jobs they create — depend on immigrants and foreign nationals as customers, employees, or indeed, as founders; a closure of our borders would cost many of our businesses revenue and ultimately jobs. We want to understand how you will ensure that our immigration and travel policies continue to project — in letter and spirit — an openness to and embrace of foreigners.
· Many of us operate in industries with significant employment skills gaps and find it challenging to find qualified employees, despite being located in a region where thousands of households are reluctant members of the long-term unemployed. We want to understand how you will support both public education and adult job training programs, including programs like TANF and WIOA, to help small employers source the skilled employees they need to continue to grow.
We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you in person at a time of your convenience during your next visit to Philadelphia. Many thanks for your consideration of this request.

(In alphabetical order by first name)

Anon (x2)

Alex Hillman, Indy Hall

Ali Moore, Groundswell Greetings

Amanda Christina, Blackfynn

Andrew Marshall, Primed Consulting

Bob Moore

Gabriel Mandujano, Wash Cycle Laundry

Geoff DiMasi, P’unk Ave

Meg Widholm, Snack Like a Local

Mike Stubna, Mountain Track Apps

Peter Foreman-Murray, Foreman-Murray Digital

Rick Nucci, Guru

Valerie Wicox, CultrDig LLC

William Reed, Standard Tap / Johnny Brenda’s