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Our Actions Are Loud, But Your 2024 Actions Make Us Louder ​

 

By Pat Soldano

Maybe you’ve noticed, there’s not much action on Capitol Hill, but certainly a lot of talk, but we are hopeful that 2024 will be different. When Family Enterprise USA looks at what we can do in 2024 we see some very real actions needed to change the balance of words to actions in Washington, D.C.

Our 2024 priority action is to continue educating members of Congress, the Biden Administration, and the regulatory agencies about the harmful effects of the many proposals under consideration to family businesses, family offices and successful individuals.

What are we talking about exactly?

There are proposals on the table right now about increases in the top income tax rate, and the Estate Tax Rate and/or reduction in the Lifetime Exemption, implementation of a wealth tax, elimination, or limits on grantor trusts, curtailing passthrough business profits, elimination of like kind exchanges and bonus depreciation, but also restoring expensing for R&D. There is much more, too. It will take action, not just words to change things.

2024: Getting Started

Our go-to place for this is the one-year-old Congressional Family Business Caucus. We will be working closely with the caucus this year, and the three meetings set for the year.

Right now, we have 35 members of Congress signed on to the bipartisan caucus, and we expect many more to join this year. At the same time building the bipartisan Senate Family Business Caucus. We need to get the business community, and general public, on board, too. We want everyone to know generationally owned family businesses and successful individuals matter more than most people know.

We’re adding more to the fight each month. In the last half of 2023, we added members of the American Trucking Associations, Associated Equipment Distributors, Air Conditioning Contractors of America, Energy Marketers of America, and the National Funeral Directors of America to Family Enterprise USA’s supporter base.

This year, we are taking our efforts on the road, with the hosting 25-plus regional legislative update meetings, in collaborations with family business centers, sponsors and other organizations who want to know what is happening in DC that could affect them.

In addition, we will host the three Capitol Hill update meetings with Congress members, their staff, and with our in-house political strategist Dr. Frank Luntz. All of this in conjunction with the Congressional Family Business Caucus.

We have teamed with Family Business Magazine, too. With each issue we write a regular column called, “From the Hill.” Each column provides insights into what is happening on Capitol Hill right now. On the video and audio front, we host webcasts and a podcast, called The Voice of Family Business, where they are featured on YouTube and Spotify.

Our reach is growing. Our weekly family business news emails are now sent to over 70,000 people engaged in family businesses, family offices and successful individuals. We are creating over 20 family business video stories covering important issues and the challenges family businesses face, from workplace issues to transitioning to the next generation. And, we have this monthly column, weekly press releases, and social media posts distributed nationwide to help deliver these messages.

You Can Act Right Now

Part of our job is to provide family business owners with the tools to create real action. We’ve created the resources to make it easy to act, to inform, and to educate our national legislators. Here are just a few of the things you can do right now to get the word out.

The first step: tell us your story.

We have an easy to fill out form at www.familyenterpriseusa.com that lets you tell your story. Your story can be developed into either a printed case study or made into one of our Family Business Stories videos.

What kind of story exactly?

The story of the history of your business is a good place to start. Tell us how you support your employees and your community, what challenges you face each day running your business and how can your legislator help you grow and sustain your business and provide for your employees. If you choose to record your story on video, we will guide you with questions and conduct an interview.

To give you an idea, you can find many such stories on our website and on YouTube. These “lessons learned” family business video stories are from such generationally owned family businesses as Bush Brothers & Company, American Food and Vending, CRST Holdings and many others; check it our on our You Tube channel.

The second step is: Contact your member(s) of Congress

We’ve made it easy to contact your member of Congress. Just go to our website and fill out the form and name your district or congressperson. We have pre-written text ready to send. What are the key issues?

Tell them it’s critical to join the Congressional Family Business Caucus…to make our voices heard!

Lastly, respond to the FEUSA Annual family business Questionnaire

Each year we conduct large-scale research on the issues facing generationally-owned family businesses. The results of our newest Annual Family Business Research Survey will be published in late February.

This research is critical in telling the family business story to our legislators. You can help by participating in this survey by going to our survey page at our website, www.familyentrpriseusa.com and filling out this short, but important research questionnaire.

We will use this research throughout 2024 to convince Congress that family businesses are the most important part of our national economy.

Finally, at Family Enterprise USA we provide membership opportunities to accommodate all levels of commitment. We need your help in making our voice strong, and loud. We exist solely for, and are supported by, family businesses. Go to our website and join or tell us your story.

By joining the movement, by taking these simple actions, you take the first step in making family businesses stronger everywhere in America, and maybe then our actions will become more than just words lost on Capitol Hill.

Pat Soldano, President of Family Enterprise USA, and the Policy Taxation Group, both are non-partisan organizations advocating for family businesses of all sizes and are the organizers of the Family Enterprise USA Annual Family Business Survey.

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The need for fact-based reporting of issues important to multi generational businesses and protecting a lifetime of savings has never been greater. Now more than ever, multi generational businesses and family businesses are under fire. That's why Family Enterprise USA is passionately working to increase the awareness of issues important to generationally-owned family businesses built on hard work, while continuing to strengthen our presence on Capitol Hill. The issues we fight for or against with Congress in Washington DC include high income tax rates, possible elimination of valuation discounts, increase in capital gains tax, enactment of a wealth tax, and the continued burden of the gift tax, estate tax and generation skipping tax.


Family Enterprise USA promotes generationally owned family business creation, growth, viability, and sustainability by advocating for family businesses and their lifetime of savings with Congress in Washington DC.  Since 2007, Family Enterprise USA has represented and celebrated all sizes, professions and industries of family-owned enterprises and multi-generational employers. It is a bi-partisan 501.c3 organization. Family foundations can donate.


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