Jim Wordsworth


August 01, 2017


As a small business owner and restaurant owner in the Washington, D.C. area since the 1970’s, I am no stranger to politicos who offer a kind word or a firm handshake during a dinner at J.R.’s Steakhouse. To them, I respond with a thank you and an insistence that every single elected official make it easier for small businesses to succeed. After all, small business is where the American dream begins.

Today, I took that same message to the White House, as the business community works to advance tax reform.

I was invited to the White House for a small business discussion, hosted by President Trump, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Linda McMahon, and Ivanka Trump. At the meeting, it was immediately obvious to me that the president, the SBA administrator, and Ivanka shared with me a vigorous defense of American small business. I was joined by dozens of other small business owners with the same vigor and what transpired was a powerful discussion on the need for tax reform, regulatory relief, and other small business priorities.

Our message was simple and our plea was straight-forward: Reducing red tape and reforming the tax code will allow small business owners like myself to re-invest time and money into our businesses. Yes, we were preaching to the choir, and there were several times when the president, the SBA administrator, Ivanka Trump, and the small business owners nodded in unison. However, we know that not everyone’s DNA contains the trait for free enterprise advocacy and that our task is to communicate how investments in Main Street equate to investments in our communities.

Through my involvement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association, it has become obvious that free enterprise advocacy is embedded in the DNA of entrepreneurship. Small business owners not only promote their own enterprises but also staunchly defend free enterprise at every opportunity they can – because they know how important small business is to jobs, innovation, and everything else that makes America great.

The louder we defend small business, the greater a chance we have to succeed – because in the realm of public policy, it has been said, “you either have a seat at the table or you’re on the menu.

And while the president may share this view, he has an opportunity to recruit more of us to this effort by rallying the troops at the Chamber’s National Small Business Summit here in Washington, D.C. in September. Today, I extended an invitation to him, which I hope he accepts. I look forward to joining hundreds of other small businesses at the Summit presenting a strong voice for small businesses.

We want our congressional leaders to know the challenges we face and the reforms we would like to see to help us grow our businesses, our local economies, and in turn the national economy. Join me, and the White House, in making sure small businesses have a seat at the table.

About the authors

Jim Wordsworth