PPAI has joined a coalition of more than 50 trade and professional organizations calling on President Trump to sign an executive order authorizing a White House Conference on Small Business (WHCSB), which has not taken place in more than 20 years. The WHCSB was a series of three conferences held in 1980, 1986 and 1995 to foster better relationships with the business community, Congress and the White House.

The letter says, “We encourage your administration to reunite the wide variety of voices within the small business community by hosting the next WHCSB to help educate Congress and the White House on issues that matter most to small businesses. Just as in 1995, which was when the last WHCSB occurred, we can leverage the collective strength and voice of small business, to make it easier to do business with the federal government, create jobs and prosperity for our country.”

Each of the three previous conferences produced 60 policy recommendations for Congress and the administration to consider, while the 1995 conference also elected delegates to regional implementation teams that worked with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to monitor congressional and executive branch action on its recommendations. Much of the 1995 conference’s success was attributed to these teams.

The letter also noted the critical importance of state conferences in the WHCSB’s success as they ensured broad and equitable recommendations from the small-business community. These state conferences allow small-business owners to understand and embrace the issues that small businesses face. The diverse participation they produce also adds credibility to the issues the WHCSB address and its recommendations.