In Support of Small Business

You have a business to run, so the team at SBAM constantly monitors issues affecting small business so you don’t have to.  SBAM also helps to give you and other small business owners a voice in the democratic process by connecting members with influential policymakers.

You can help protect your small business and help bolster Michigan’s entrepreneurs by getting involved today.

SBAM has an easy way for you to contact your elected officials. Take action now and voice your support for small business by:

  • Contacting your legislators
  • Examining voting records   
  • Locating your elected officials
  • Tracking key issues
  • Learning about elections

Policy Agenda

SBAM recently released its Small Business Policy Agenda. Download your copy here.


Latest Legislative News

SBAM’s policy on upcoming ballot proposals

A number of critical questions will be put to the voters on this November’s ballot. The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) has been carefully evaluating these issues relative to how they will impact small businesses across the state. The SBAM Board of Directors has determined that three of the current ballot proposals would have detrimental impact on small business in Michigan if passed. They are as follows:

Proposal 2, or the “Collective Bargaining” proposal, would effectively roll back many of the pro-small business reforms that have taken place in Michigan over the past two years. Passage of this proposal would hamper future efforts to reform state government and save taxpayer dollars.

Proposal 3, otherwise known as 25 by 2025, would force Michigan to increase the use of renewable energy to at least 25 percent by the year 2025. This proposal is likely to increase energy costs dramatically. If this is passed, it will create a very dangerous precedent of granting special favors that are not easily removed into our state’s constitution.

Proposal 4 is meant to force the unionization of home health care workers, regardless of whether they are just taking care of a family member, friend, or are part of a health care network. By allowing this proposal to go through, taxpayer dollars will be put at risk and special interests will have carved out their own spot in the Michigan constitution.

All of these proposals stand to hamper small business growth in our state if passed and represent significant hurdles to the effort to reinvent our state. SBAM urges a NO vote on Proposal 2, Proposal 3 and Proposal 4.

Watch related videos:
“Hands Off Our Constitution”



Business Next at the West Michigan Policy Forum

From the West Michigan Policy Forum in Grand Rapids, Michael Rogers talks with Jeff Connolly, president of West Michigan Operations and Managed Care for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Rick Baker, president of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce; Kevin Stotts, president of Talent 2025; and economist Dr. Robert Genetski.

Segment 1: Connolly

Segment 2: Baker

Segment 3: Stotts

Segment 4: Genetski

Segment 5: Genetski

Segment 6: Genetski

SBAM to evaluate Governor’s plan to modernize Michigan’s health insurance market

SBAM plans to be a strong contributor to the upcoming legislative debate over Gov. Snyder’s proposal to make Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) a nonprofit mutual regulated under the Michigan insurance code.

“While this specific proposal from Gov. Snyder is new, this conversation started a decade ago with small group market reform and has continued over the years.  We believe that the timing is right for this legislation and we applaud the governor for jumpstarting this conversation. SBAM will evaluate the details of this proposal based on how it affects small businesses and the cost and availability of health insurance in the small group market,” says SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler.

“Our members have told us for years that one of the greatest challenges to small business success is the high cost of health insurance. We are encouraged that a proposal is in the works to create a level playing field for BCBSM and other insurers in order to increase competition, improve quality, stabilize insurance costs and streamline the outdated insurance regulatory system in Michigan,” says Fowler. 

Fowler noted that the governor’s proposal includes turning BCBSM into a nonprofit mutual insurer with an estimated annual tax bill of $100 million and having BCBSM contribute $1.5 billion over 18 years to a separate non-profit organization with an independent Board of Directors that will oversee how that money will be spent. "We intend to weigh in on those discussions because cost is the problem small businesses encounter daily in providing health insurance for their employees and family members.  We do not want an unintended consequence of this contribution to a new nonprofit to be an increase in costs for our members.

"Further, we believe that small business customers must have a voice in the new mutual company and that much of the money that BCBSM holds in reserve and would be available for this new non-profit has come from the premiums our members have paid.'

SBAM represents more than 15,500 small businesses in all 83 Michigan counties.

SBAM disappointed that Supreme Court orders union bosses proposal back onto November’s ballot

SBAM is a key member of the coalition of business and taxpayer groups (Citizens Protecting Michigan's Constitution) that opposes the union bosses/collective bargaining proposal.
SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler calls the proposal "unprecedented" and says that SBAM will work hard to educate its members and the general public about the very negative impact that passage would have on Michigan's constitution and economic future.

For more 2012 election news and insight, please visit

Union boss proposal ordered back onto November’s ballot by a state Court of Appeals panel

The proposed ballot measure would enshrine union organizing privileges into Michigan’s Constitution and block measures such as right-to-work laws.

Yesterday’s court decision comes after the State Board of Canvassers had previously rejected the proposal on grounds that the proposal would make overly expansive and unpredicted changes to the Constitution.

The fate of the proposal will ultimately be decided by the Michigan Supreme Court, as the Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution (CPMC) coalition immediately appealed the decision. SBAM, a key member of the coalition of business and taxpayer groups that filed the challenge, disputes the Court of Appeals decision and remains confident that the measure will ultimately be struck down on appeal.

The coalition argues the labor proposal should be barred from the ballot because it fails to identify existing sections of the constitution affecting collective bargaining that would be "altered or abrogated" by its adoption. One section in particular would restrict the Legislature’s authority to adopt labor laws regulating hours and working conditions.
SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler calls the proposal "unprecedented and...clearly unconstitutional."

"This proposal is so far-reaching that citizens would have a very difficult time understanding the implications of passage from reading a 100-word ballot description," he said.

The high court will have to move quickly to settle the contentious issue, as a Sept. 7 deadline looms for the elections board to finalize the ballot.

For more 2012 election news and insight, please visit

SBAM urges Supreme Court to overturn Court of Appeals decision

The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) urged the Michigan Supreme Court to overturn Monday's disappointing Court of Appeals decision that leaves the “Protect Our Jobs” proposal on the fall ballot. “This proposal is so far-reaching that citizens would have a very difficult time understanding the implications of passage from reading a 100-word ballot description,” says SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler. “The proposal would take away the authority of the Legislative to approve any law that could be potentially be part of collective bargaining. That’s an unprecedented and, we believe, clearly unconstitutional usurpation of the role of the Legislature.” 

SBAM is part of Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution (CPMC), a growing and diverse group of voters, taxpayers, job providers, individuals, local chambers of commerce and other organizations. CPMC is committed to educating Michigan families about unprecedented attempts to radically overhaul the state’s constitution through new, misleading ballot initiatives. For more information, please visit

How Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is helping small businesses grow! Wednesday on Business Next

Jamie Clover Adams, director of Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, provides an overview of the department’s mission and how it relates to small businesses; talks about how the department is helping small businesses grow and create jobs, reports how the department is helping small businesses comply with licensing and regulation, talks about the role small businesses will play in growing Michigan’s food industry and explains how the department is helping small businesses participate in the food export market. Also, an interview with a small business recently featured at Rod Call is a co-founder of Unsalted Sailing in Traverse City.

Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.     

Advice on improving your sales! Listen today on the free Business Next audio seminar

Friday on Business Next, SBAM’s Vice President Communications Michael Rogers talks with Perry Ballard, founder of Manage Perceived Value, about the interaction between small business products and services and how to leverage that to improve sales. Also today, Patricia Salo of the Michigan Small Business Technology Development Center talks about the New Venture program that helps people start small businesses in southeast Michigan. And, Michael interviews Robert Kamal, owner of KoHorts IT services, a fast moving company in the field of mobile device marketing; and Toby Brzoznowski, Executive Vice President and company co-founder of LLamasoft, to learn more about his supply chain management company, its growth plans and insights for small business owners hoping to do a better job handling their supply chains.

Listen Friday at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page.