The National Federation of Independent Business recognized 35 Alaska senators and representatives as Guardians of Small Business.
According to NFIB Alaska State Director Danny DeWitt, they were recognized for their consistent advocacy and support of key issues.
“The award was really generated to recognize legislators who are helpful to small business in terms of their votes and what they’re doing in the legislature.”
While the issues these legislators face all involve small businesses, their details vary. DeWitt speaks of one dealing with the need to buy multiple business licenses for each type of work a company carried out.
“This year, Representative Costello carried a bill which would change that so every business has to buy a license for its business and then you can run as many lines of business under your business operations as you want to. For example, you could chop wood, you could plow, you could sell ice cream on the side, I suppose.”
Another case involved fiscal changes making certain regulations obsolete.
“There’s a formula that continues to ratchet up unemployment insurance premiums, even though the trust fund is fully funded, one of the best funded in the nation. Last year, working with the governor, we changed that so the commissioner can stop the supplemental premium when you have enough money in the trust fund to pay a couple years of claims against it.”
There are approximately 70,000 small businesses in the State of Alaska, employing the majority of private sector workers, so while these actions may seem minor, they have a large impact in the aggregate. More information on the legislators and their bills can be found on the NFIB website.