It is a long-standing assumption that companies should not get involved in politics. The most notable reason is that politics divides and can result in the loss of customers who are put off by certain political views. But what happens when legislators pass laws that make it cost prohibitive for businesses to maintain their quality of service and causes patronage to decrease, due to no fault of their own. Should businesses still remain silent? It’s time for businesses to take a hard look at whether we have exaggerated the risks of getting involved in the political process, while at the same time overestimating the government’s ability to resolve business issues without our voice.
Case in point: During the most recent 2017-18 legislative session, there were a total of 222 bills relating to commerce that was introduced to the North Carolina General Assembly in a 91-day period. Of those bills, 38 have become law. Most business owners are likely unable to name even one of those laws, yet each bill will have some impact on their daily operations. For example, HB 95 allows travel after sunset for vehicles transporting cargo, containers, or other equipment, and prohibits the Department of Transportation from restricting nighttime travel for shipments going to or from international ports unless it is determined to be unsafe. This law could have an immediate impact on the timing of when businesses receive shipments and the delivery of their products to customers worldwide. (Click here to see a list of all 38 bills.)
The stakes are simply too high for business owners to sit on the sidelines while legislators, who may be unfamiliar with their business, make profound decisions about their operations. Business owners have a voice and they should make it heard. The North Carolina Business Council was created to help businesses amplify their voice to educate and engage constructively, straightforwardly and openly with policy leaders. But we can only do it with your voice. Join us today!
Vicki Lee Parker, Executive Director