The rest of the story: At the end of my first blog, I said “I decided to do something, something I had never done before…. Go talk to some politicians.” And so I did!
One thing I learned from this experience is: There are (2) types of politicians; those who are elected to office and those who are not. More on that later.
I went to see every member of the Montgomery County Council who was in office at the time. I told my horrific story to each and received a generally sympathetic reaction from each. As you can image, some were more interested than others. One interesting observation: as I think back on my experience now, those who showed the most interest and support, still hold elected office in Montgomery County…Poetic Justice? Perhaps….
One suggestion made (perhaps by more than one council member) was to enlist the help of a “Chamber of Commerce.” I tried with little interest from any Chamber of Commerce in advocating the cause of Montgomery County Small Businesses. I pitched every idea I had at that time: preference points for local Small Businesses competing for County Contracts, more local small Businesses set aside contracts, etc. What I quickly learned was that the Chambers of Commerce were more concerned with upsetting non-Montgomery County Small Businesses than they were with helping Montgomery County Small Business. This is when I realized that there were “politicians” not elected to office.
So I went back to the elected politicians with an idea, start an organization with its sole purpose “Advance the interests of Montgomery County Small Businesses.” The reception was overwhelmingly supportive. In particular, Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, and Craig Rice each were genuinely concerned with the cause and encouraged me. (Note, since then, several new Council Members have expressed their support and encouragement).
In addition, two county employees have been extremely supportive; Ms. Grace Denno and Ms. Judy Stephenson.
Fast forward, here we are Montgomery County Small Business Association! Our association is getting ready to celebrate the One Year milestone Anniversary. I am proud of our association; we have eight dedicated board members, fifty plus active members plus a variety of member success stories to share who have met through the association to teamed up in their businesses. Our association will continue to host general sessions and networking events over the next year for small business owner with a focus on Together We Grow!