Become An SBAM Advocacy Champion

Use Your Voice

No one tells your story better than you!

Using your voice to champion small business is now easier than ever with SBAM’s new member benefit, a complimentary opportunity for SBAM’s Basic, Premium, VIP and Elite members. Become an SBAM Advocacy Champion and learn how to advocate for the small business community while elevating your own business.

When it comes to having a pro-small business voice, there is no bigger advocate than the Small Business Association of Michigan. But what makes our voice stronger are the individual efforts of small business owners who are willing to use their own voices to help promote the small business agenda.

SBAM has outlined five ways in which YOU can get involved as an SBAM Advocacy Champion. From being willing to simply communicate your viewpoints with legislators, volunteering for a campaign, or even running for office yourself, SBAM is here to help you succeed. Whatever your current level of experience, please take a look at these five ways to get involved, and let us know if we can count on you to be an SBAM Advocacy Champion in one or more of these areas.

Advocacy

No one knows how a piece of legislation or regulation will impact your business better than you. Communicating your message with legislators and key state leaders plays an important role in supporting a policy environment that helps small businesses thrive. SBAM will train you on the following, and more:

  • How to communicate with legislators via print and email 
  • Tips for meeting with legislators and key state leaders 
  • How to testify in front of a legislative committee

Watch SBAM Board Member Ginny Sherrow, owner of Fenton Winery & Brewery, give testimony.

Media Training

Whether it is for advocacy or simply learning how to better promote your business, we will help you fine tune your media communications to better convey your story. Training will include: 

  • TV interview 
  • Radio interviews 
  • Print/Op-Eds 

SBAM Board Member Patti Eisenbraun spoke to CNN about the labor shortage her business, Brown Iron Brewhouse, faced.

Check out SBAM member Tom Mathison on ways he’s utilized his voice on a major SBAM legislative priority and topic he’s passionate about: child care. 

Boards & Commissions

Michigan has a wide array of Boards and Commissions at the state level that are a great way for small business owners to engage in areas that are important to them. This training will help you identify opportunities for greater engagement and walk you through the process of what it takes to apply and be selected through the Appointments Division in the Office of the Governor. 

Past Chair Bill Kimble was recently appointed to the Michigan Community Service Commission for his efforts within the Lansing region. Here’s what he says about this opportunity:

“Serving our communities is an important and vital piece to creating places and spaces for small businesses to thrive.  When I thought about my own service, I wanted to give back in a way that sought to strengthen Michigan communities statewide and share my thoughts and expertise in a way to make an impact on a much broader scale.  The Michigan Community Service Commission is appointed by the Governor and focuses on the power of volunteerism to address and fill gaps on Michigan’s most pressing needs. My Engineering background was welcomed by the Commission to strengthen the Volunteer and Community Engagement aspect for Disaster Response and Recovery across the state.  I encourage those who seek a higher level of involvement to explore the many opportunities offered at the statewide and local levels in the form of service on boards and commissions.” 

Candidate School Part 1: Campaigning

Understanding how campaigns work is a necessary skill for getting more involved in your local party, helping your trusted candidates get elected, and deciding to run for office yourself.  This training will be focused on: 

  • How to get involved in your local party
  • Door knocking 
  • How to make phone calls 
  • Campaign mailings 
  • How to sign up to be a precinct delegate 

This training will be tailored for members who are interested in working campaigns or helping other small business owners run for office. Members will also be able to take valuable information from this training and enter our Candidate School to learn how to run for office themselves.

“Getting involved in local and statewide politics by volunteering on campaigns or running for various local positions or offices yourself opens doors to communicate with people on the advocacy level in a much deeper way.  Learning how to communicate a message for a candidate you believe in that carries a pro-small business message or for yourself is an empowering and impactful growth opportunity.  Being a precinct delegate has taught me the ins and outs of local county politics while being able to strengthen my voice on important principles.  Being involved in a boots-on-the-ground way has given advocacy access to lawmakers that has proven to create stronger relationships that benefit SBAM’s influence in Lansing.” – Kelli Saunders, Precinct Delegate

 

Candidate School Part 2: Running for Office

This training will give our small business owners a better understanding of what it means to run for office. You’ll learn about: 

  • What it takes to run 
  • How to balance your business with an elected office 
  • How to establish your campaign 
  • Fundraising and compliance 
  • Research and messaging 
  • Recruiting volunteers 
  • Connecting you to other organizations that also have tools and resources to better prepare you to run for office

“Going through SBAM’s Candidate School was incredibly helpful for me. I learned valuable lessons on what it takes to run for office, and how to incorporate my skills as a small business owner into creating policy that makes small businesses thrive. I especially grew from the real-life candidate lectures from current members.” – Representative Angela Witwer 

Yes! I’m interested!

Ready to learn more about these advocacy initiatives, and how you can get involved? Let us know your areas of interest and we will be in touch with the next steps.

Questions? Reach out to SBAM’s Director of Government Operations Alexa Kramer or Executive Advisor & Director of Office Administration Kelli Saunders.

Take the Next Step