Leading Small Business Organizations Join Rep. James E. Clyburn in a Call to Protect Voting Rights

Media Release

American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance, and Small Business Majority host a special event to highlight the importance of democracy in entrepreneurship

Washington, D.C. — Small business owners and community organizations participated in a special event with House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn on September 8, 2021, to push back against the laws suppressing Americans’ voting rights across the country.

Representatives from the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance, Small Business Majority, and leading experts in voting rights laws and the legislative process engaged in a discussion on why voting rights are essential to democracy and entrepreneurship.

“The right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy and the foundation upon which all other rights are built,” said Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, U.S. House of Representatives. “My mother was a small business owner. I understand how critical small businesses and entrepreneurs are to our nation’s economy. I applaud the support of small business owners in the fight to protect access to the ballot to ensure that voting remains a fundamental right of every American citizen and the touchstone of the greatest democracy the world has ever known. Nothing else will matter if we lose the right to vote.”

“A sustainable and just economy needs a strong democracy in which all Americans are able to participate with their votes and their voices. However, American Democracy is under attack in many states across the country,” said Thomas Oppel, American Sustainable Business Council Executive Vice President. “Congress has a duty under Section 1 of the Constitution to protect every American’s right to vote, but the current Senate filibuster rules clearly stand in the way of Congress protecting our rights. On behalf of the 250,000 businesses we represent, ASBC has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of both the For the People Act (S.1) and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We commend House Majority Whip James Clyburn for his leadership on this and support a ‘carve out’ of the filibuster in which the Senate rules would be changed to permit Constitutional issues, such as voting rights, to pass with a simple 51-vote majority. We call on the U.S. Senate to take the needed actions to enable it to be faithful to our Constitution.”

“Small businesses are bearing the brunt of corporate influence in this country. We saw another clear illustration of this during the pandemic when COVID relief programs were pried open to large chains, pushing small businesses to the back of the line or even shutting them out completely,” said Natasha McKeller Crosby, Main Street Alliance board member. “To reform our democracy, election security and money in politics should absolutely be seen as a small business issue. Like working people generally, many small business owners understand that economic power and political power go hand-in-hand.”

The American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN) is a partner to businesses and the investor community to bring collective wisdom and public policy solutions to the systemic issues negatively impacting our society and planet. Founded through the merger of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and Social Venture Circle (SVC), ASBN rejects short-term thinking narrowly focused on just shareholder value in favor of a capitalism based on creating long-term value and being accountable to all stakeholders: owners, workers, families, community, environment, state, nation, and world. As a multi-issue, membership organization advocating on behalf of every business sector, size, and geography, ASBN and its association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks.