What’s business friendly depends on your business

When President Trump signed an executive order last week rolling back some clean water rules it was alternatively praised and criticized.

Fishing and hunting groups and businesses warned of potential damage to the nation’s ecosystem. Others including farmers and home builders cheered the change.

I often hear from people working in the industry that they want to see more “business friendly” policies coming out of Washington. The reality is that almost everything the government does benefits someone’s business. (A cynical person could say that’s the only reason anything happens!)

The boating industry has a lot of problems with ethanol? Well, making ethanol is big business.

Don’t like Obamacare? There are a lot of companies in the healthcare industry that have gotten a big boost in profits thanks to that.

Have a problem with regulations? You can guarantee there’s a lawyer somewhere making money off of it.

This of course points out one of the biggest problems facing the boating industry in getting its issues addressed by federal, state and local governments. Namely, that we’re not always good at pointing out the economic impact of the boating business. We’re a fun little sport for rich people in the eyes of many people.

American Boating Congress is one obvious way to get out that message through Hill visits and meetings with regulatory officials. Even if you can’t attend ABC, contact your representatives to tell them and show them the jobs you create, the economic activity your business generates and how you are an important part of your local community.

There are other great resources that can you help you craft that message. For example, the American Sportfishing Association last month released its updated report on the economic impact of recreational fishing by congressional district. NMMA produces a similar report showing the impact of boating in every state and district as well, which should be available by the time ABC rolls around.


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