INBA members meet with Sen. Murray’s staff

Members of Senator Patty Murray’s staff reached out to INBA to hold a learning and listening session on small business concerns and to discuss the President’s Federal Tax Reform Bill. The meeting was arranged very quickly the week before so only a handful of small business owners were asked if they cold participate. The Greater Spokane Valley Chamber and West Plains Chamber were also invited to meet.

President Trump has said that he would slash corporate taxes from 35% to 15%, but Livia Lam informed the group that the current administration has not yet presented a federal tax reform bill, so at this point it is very difficult to comment on how that will effect businesses.

INBA business owners attending the meeting were 420 Friendly, a marijuana retailer; Clearwater Seed, a grower of native grasses and flowers; FireDove Technology, an Information Technology and programming company; and Thinking Cap a marketing and association management company. No businesses from the other two chambers were able to attend, but Katherine Morgan, President/CEO of the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber was able to represent her chamber.

INBA business owners informed Senator Murray’s staff of difficulties they faced in today’s climate. For example, Carol Erhart, owner of 420 Friendly informed the representatives that the current federal laws prohibiting banks from working with the marijuana industry also effect the employees. Employees risk having their bank accounts closed and denied loans due to the employment questions on loan applications.

On the other hand, Robbi Anthony, owner of Firedove Technology, informed the Senator’s staff of the difficulties a trans* business owners and employees face. For trans* people, the process of getting state and federal government documents changed can take years to complete and often involves the addition of physicians to sign off on certain documents to change the gender marker on the trans* individual’s records. Having mis-matched government documents makes it difficult for trans* people to pass background checks, secure leases, get bank accounts and loans, and obtain healthcare to name just a few. She mentioned that trans* people often become entrepreneurs because of the difficulties finding gainful employment. 

Katerine Morgan, from the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber conveyed their organization’s desire to know about infrastructure plans that will effect Spokane Valley.

If any business owner members have anything regarding the Federal Tax Reform Bill or other business related issues they would like to share with Senator Murray, please email Livia Lam, Ph.D., Legislative Director at livia_lam@murray.senate.gov.