As the calendar flips and the new year begins, we are reminded that with a new year, new challenges present themselves to our businesses and our industry. We certainly have our ongoing, daily routines, and our focus on keeping our businesses operational and profitable take precedence over most other issues that may arise. But circumstances and events that have a tremendous effect on our bottom lines often seem out of our control.
Or are they?
Workers’ compensation, insurance requirements, licensing guidelines, scope of work, and other outside variables all have a tremendous impact on how we run our businesses and how profitable they are for the year. Often times we, the “little guys,” feel that we are helpless in dealing with these issues. But as a member of the Florida Swimming Pool Association, we have a voice. The strength of our membership numbers and organizational structure allow us to deal directly with many of the agencies that dictate and formulate these standards and requirements. More importantly, we are able to deal with the very politicians who reside on committees which have a direct impact on these very important issues.
Beginning January 16, the FSPA will again assemble on Capitol Hill in Tallahassee to meet with our legislators and discuss these very important issues. Our members will sit down with approximately 75 different government representatives, from your local senators and congressman to the heads of the DBPR. Furthermore, the FSPA will host a luncheon on the 22nd floor of the capitol building open to all legislators to expose our industry to even more policy and decision makers.
These face-to-face meetings, and subsequent follow-up political contributions, have an invaluable effect on the issues which directly affect our bottom lines. When we are physically in front of our legislators we, in layman terms, can explain the true effects these decisions have on our businesses. We can offer detailed scenarios and actual experiences that can enlighten them on the reality of these decisions.
The newly formed PIPAC and PIC initiatives are designed to help support these meetings. By supporting the legislators who agree with our objectives and understand our challenges, we can speak with a louder voice, a unified front, and an industry that is both sound of leadership and clear of direction.
Currently, the FSPA membership has contributed almost $100,000 to PIPAC for this new initiative. In addition, the support of the national manufacturers and distributors has been extremely promising.
Please help the FSPA express the concerns and issues which affect all of our businesses. Whether it is attending Legislative Days, volunteering with a local political representative, or committing to one of the PIPAC initiatives, we need our members to help. Together we are no longer the little guys, but an organization which, together, can face these new challenges head on.
Wishing you and your families a healthy, happy and prosperous new year.