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asba launches advocacy & jobs initiative to combat unemployment

Tuesday, July 6, 2010   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Whitney Fletcher
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TUCSON, AZ (Tuesday, July 6, 2010) – The Arizona Small Business Association (asba), the state’s second largest trade organization, is responding to Arizona’s unemployment rate of nearly 10% by launching an effort in Southern Arizona to become actively involved in policy decisions that impact business. The organization is also introducing its aggressive "asba for Jobs” initiative. Donna Davis, CEO of asba, states, "Most new jobs that are created outside the government are created by small business; asba represents 4,700 member businesses that want to create more jobs in Arizona. Helping elected officials understand and support what is needed for small business to create
jobs is a high priority for asba.”

Small businesses comprise 97% of the Southern Arizona workforce, so creating a healthy business climate is important to getting the local economy back on track. asba is launching its "asba for Jobs” campaign along with a strong stance on pro-business public policy issues that affect not only asba members but all businesses of Southern Arizona.

"asba has had an effective and powerful political presence at the state capitol for years,” states Davis. "Our expanded efforts in Southern Arizona are a direct result of the feedback from our members.” The Southern Arizona effort will work in conjunction with statewide public policy activities aimed at making the environment better and more supportive of business. "Our members have a lot on their plates in launching and surviving in these difficult economic times,” adds Davis. "It’s important here in Southern Arizona that a unified, business-focused and growing organization like asba is advocating for the small business person.”

asba has assembled a core group of Southern Arizona small business leaders to launch and manage the effort. "Our goal is to work with leaders of Southern Arizona to make sure small business issues are front and center at all times,” states Suzette Colley, asba’s Southern Arizona Director of Business Development. asba is enhancing the local business advocacy component in addition to the services it currently provides to business members including: group buying power on insurance products, ongoing educational programs, member-to-member marketing and networking opportunities. "The addition of a strong business voice in policy decisions, especially here in Southern Arizona, is important to our members and important to creating jobs,” Colley adds.

The "asba for Jobs” initiative is a focused effort to connect job creation and public policy decisions. Doug Martin, owner of Good News Radio, is an asba Board Member and one of the initiative’s leaders in Southern Arizona. Martin explains asba’s new jobs focus this way: "The debate that rages in Tucson and surrounding communities is about public safety, downtown redevelopment and funding for those less fortunate. As a small business community, we believe in all those issues, but it takes a healthy job market that employs people with good wages to pay for what we need. Sometimes our policy makers appear to have forgotten that without jobs, we don’t have the tax base to achieve our community goals. "

asba’s policy committee will be focusing on issues that affect the business climate in Pima County, Tucson and surrounding communities. One of asba’s goals is to rate elected officials on their support of business-friendly issues based on how they vote on business-related issues. The rating system is objective, fair and based on facts. The goal is to monitor key votes that sitting elected officials make and then grade the elected officials’ business friendliness. "Come re-election time, a candidate that scores poorly in terms of supporting small business will have some explaining to do to the small
business community.” Davis adds. "We’ve seen this work effectively at the state level, and we know that the system will work well for our local communities.”

About asba – For nearly 40 years, asba has been creating opportunities for businesses to make money, save money and achieve amAZing results. With a membership of 4,700 businesses representing over 300,000 employees, asba is the second largest trade association in the state and the only statewide association dedicated to serving small businesses. From outstanding value to an extensive range of support and services, asba is committed to making Arizona the best place for launching and growing your business. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, please call 520-327-0222, or visit Join asba! Be amAZed®.


Lisa Raymond, Visibly Media LLC says...
Posted Wednesday, July 7, 2010
This is such a great idea! I'm proud to be part of such a clear-thinking, forward-thinking community :) What can we do to help from Phx.? Is there a Phx. branch in the works? Warmly, Lisa, Deseyner's Eye

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