Amplifying the voices of small business leaders for issue advocacy
Following years of demonstrated success in educating and engaging policymakers about climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure investment, the future of work and other critical issues, Business Forward understood that it needed to leverage its organizational expertise and accomplishments to give changemakers a necessary perspective and tool for further advocacy: the business case. Spitfire began working with Business Forward in 2021 to help build its profile and credibility, while amplifying the business case on a variety of issues impacting the American people.
Small business leaders are among the most trusted voices in America when it comes to policymaking. Spitfire works with Business Forward to support its network of small business leaders who are interested in amplifying and leveraging their position to advocate on behalf of issues they care about. We do this by holding monthly coaching sessions with business leaders to help them hone their media, presentation, thought leadership and messaging skills to make the business case for policy issues.
In addition to monthly coaching calls, Spitfire works one on one with business leaders to develop, pitch and place op-eds that are strategic, focused and timely. Through this work, we have helped business leaders across the country use their voice to advocate for policies that strengthen and protect voting rights, workforce development and educational pipelines, renewable energy alternatives, affordable access to healthcare and others.
For example, Spitfire partnered with an Ohio-based business leader on an op-ed focused on encouraging lawmakers to pass the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act. The business leader's op-ed successfully garnered the attention of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who sent her a hand-written note thanking her for her advocacy.
Beyond supporting business leaders directly, Spitfire leverages our relationships with changemakers around the nation to nurture connections between Business Forward and advocates to bring in the business case for issues impacting America’s ability to build an equitable, healthy, safe, economically prosperous society. In 2021, Spitfire coordinated a convening between Business Forward and Clean Slate during Second Chance Month with the goal of engaging business leaders — who understand that creating economic opportunities is critical to a successful re-entry for those coming home from incarceration — in Clean Slate’s work.
We are grateful for our partnership with Business Forward and look forward to continuing our work with the organization and its network of business leaders to advance better outcomes for all Americans.