The Rotary Club of Sidney, Ohio hosted Joe Hirabayashi, Ohio Member Support Manager of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) at their weekly meeting Monday, June 12. Hirabayashi was welcomed by Rotary Club Vice President Duane Gaier, who conducted the meeting.
“Ohio has greater NFIB membership than any other state,” Hirabayashi told the Rotarians. “Although we have more than 315,000 members throughout the fifty states, about 25,000 of those members have businesses in Ohio.”
“A big part of what NFIB/Ohio does is monitor pieces of legislation that impact the small business community. A huge reason our members join us is that they do not have the time to track all of these bills on their own,” Hirabayashi stated.
Hirabayashi discussed legislation the NFIB is currently supporting in the Ohio General Assembly. He spoke specifically about the centralized collection of the income tax, and how the NFIB believed that centralized collection would benefit small businesses.
“The NFIB is the leading advocate for small business owners,” Hirabayashi explained. “Our mission is to defend the right of small business owners to run their businesses without undue government interference and to advance public policies that promote their success.”
“Our average member has 15 or fewer employees and less than $2M in gross revenue. However, we have some members who are quite large, but still see the value in the services we offer,” Hirabayashi said.
“Each of our members, no matter their size, has an equal vote, Hirabayashi continued. “We have members nationwide from every industry and sector. We are the only major business organization whose policies and positions are established by the members directly, not by executive staff or a board of directors. That’s what makes us credible, widely respected, and effective.”
Hirabayashi spoke briefly about the NFIB Small Business Legal Center, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation, the NFIB Research Center, as well as the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index. “The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism continues to post historically high readings, although the index fell as a result of Congress’ failure at the end of March to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
Hirabayashi lauded the work of Rotarian John Bertsch, owner of Detailed Machining, who chairs the NFIB Area Action Council for Shelby and Auglaize Counties. Bertsch spoke briefly about what he saw as the advantages of his membership in the organization.
Rotary is an international service organization whose stated human rights purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian services. The Sidney Rotary Club meets weekly on Mondays at Noon at the Moose Lodge.