In late January, Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI’s president and CEO, began his term as chair of the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), an annually-elected position.

“I am very proud to represent the promotional products industry as chair of the Small Business Legislative Council,” says Bellantone. “As chair, I look forward to helping support the SBLC’s priorities in 2020, which include working with Congress and the relevant agencies to address the labor shortage crisis faced by small businesses, to make tax reform work for small business, to improve our nation’s infrastructure, rural development and trade opportunities, and to bring stability and affordability to our health care system.”

The SBLC is an independent, permanent coalition of more than 30 national trade and professional associations representing tens of thousands of small businesses in Federal legislative and regulatory issues. The council is focused on helping its member associations address the concerns of their own small-business members and the small-business community. The issues on which it acts are those which affect all small businesses ensuring that small businesses have a voice and a seat at the table with respect to critical issues in Washington that will impact small businesses across the nation. These matters include taxes and benefits, liability insurance, budget, infrastructure, trade, labor and antitrust enforcement, employment issues, and government procurement, environment, establishment of a small-business voice in Washington, venture capital and other small-business financing mechanisms.

“In a year that is almost sure to be rife with political tension and uncertainty, the SBLC’s role will be more important than ever to ensure that the interests of small businesses, which play such a vital role in our economy, are considered and protected,” says SBLC President and General Counsel Paula Calimafde. “We look forward to working with Paul to pursue the SBLC’s priorities in 2020.”

Bellantone has served on the SBLC board since 2011 and has served on the not-for-profit boards of the Texas Society of Association Executives and the Incentive Research Foundation.