Members meet with SBA’s Office of Advocacy

The more information NAFEM and its members share with the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, the better they can represent our concerns about burdensome regulations within the federal government. That’s why two NAFEM-member firms – Continental Refrigerator and Howard/McCray – hosted representatives from the SBA’s Office of Advocacy with separate factory tours and roundtable meetings with company leaders Wednesday, June 20. The SBA OA delegation included: Reese Goldsmith, law clerk; Elmo Rinaldi, regional advocate; Tom Rossomando, national advocate for manufacturing and technology; and Prianka Sharma, assistant chief counsel.

During the meeting at Continental, President Brian Kelly, Engineering Manager Jeff Bauman and Controller John Haselbarth highlighted the business pressures caused by recently enacted steel and aluminum tariffs, as well as tariffs on goods imported from China. They also discussed the impact of increasing regulations from DOE, EPA and other agencies.

”The Office of Advocacy supports the development, growth and health of small business, and it’s critical for us to have this type of exchange with them,” said Charlie Souhrada, CFSPNAFEM’s vice president, regulatory & technical affairs. “They gather first-hand experiences through tours and roundtables, like the meeting NAFEM hosted in October, then encourage federal regulators to consider the impact of regulations on small businesses.”

Later in the day, at Howard/McCray, Owner and Vice President of Engineering Bill Warren, Project Manager, DOE, Jeff Ford, Managing Partner Chris Scott and Vice President Diane Scott reiterated these concerns and shared examples of how increasing healthcare, freight and labor costs are negatively impacting small businesses.

“As an independent voice for small business with the federal government, it was most helpful to understand the issues affecting the foodservice equipment industry and where we might be able to help advocate for change,” said Prianka.