Paper Trails

Lobbying for your small business

Small Business Big World Episode 15: Lobbying for your small business – An interview with Lauren LePage from Fyre Strategies

This is Small Business Big World, our weekly podcast prepared by the team at Paper Trails. Owning and running a small business is hard. Each week we’ll dive into the challenges, headaches, trends, fun and excitement of running a small business. After all, small businesses are the heartbeat of America and our team is here to keep them beating.

Watch the full episode here.

Listen to the full episode here.


When it comes to legislative influence, small businesses often find themselves lost in a maze of policy and bureaucracy. Navigating this can be daunting, but with the right guidance and tactics, even the smallest companies come out ahead. At Paper Trails, we’re passionate about assisting small businesses through their fears and headaches when it comes to payroll, HR, and small business management. In this podcast episode, you’ll learn practical strategies for small business lobbying, drawing on insights from our interview with Lauren LePage from Fyre Strategies.

Understanding the Challenges of Small Business Lobbying

Small businesses face increasing challenges due to government regulations and compliance demands. From rising costs associated with policies like increased minimum wage and mandated benefits to the complexities of the legislative process, it can all feel overwhelming. But you’re not alone in this. Professional small business lobbyist are a powerful tool that can help you influence policy and protect your business interests.

The Legislative Process and How It Affects Your Business

Lauren LePage, an expert in communications, government affairs, and political consulting, explains the legislative process from bill introduction to the education of legislators on industry-specific issues. Understanding this process is crucial for effective small business lobbying. By becoming familiar with how laws are made and how you can influence them, you can better advocate for your business.

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Lauren explains that a bill is introduced and then must go through several stages before it becomes a law. These stages include committee reviews, debates, and votes. Throughout this process, legislators need to be educated about the impact of the proposed law on small businesses. This is where your role as a business owner becomes important. By providing legislators with accurate and relevant information, you can help shape policies that are favorable to your business.

The Power of Trade Associations in Small Business Lobbying

Trade associations play a vital role in representing business interests in policy discussions. They have the resources and expertise to lobby effectively on behalf of their members. Lauren lets us know that by joining a trade association, you can amplify your voice and gain access to valuable information and support. The Towing and Recovery Association of Maine, for example, has successfully used targeted lobbying efforts to achieve tangible benefits for its members.

Benefits of Joining a Trade Association

  • Amplified Voice: Trade associations represent the collective interests of their members, making it easier to influence policy.
  • Access to Information: Stay informed about legislative developments that affect your industry.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with other business owners and experts who can offer support and advice.

Balancing Legislative Changes with Business Operations

Legislation can have real-world impacts on your business operations, often leading to increased costs. These costs can be transferred to consumers, affecting your bottom line and potentially your relationship with customers. It’s important to strike a balance between complying with new laws and maintaining a viable business. Lauren emphasizes the importance of subject matter expertise and good faith education in influencing policy to mitigate these impacts.

Practical Tips for Small Business Lobbying

  • Stay Informed: Keep up with legislative developments that affect your business.
  • Educate Legislators: Provide them with accurate information about how proposed laws impact your industry.
  • Build Coalitions: Partner with other businesses and associations to strengthen your lobbying efforts.
  • Engage Politically Without Alienating Customers: Be mindful of how you communicate your political engagement to avoid appearing overly partisan.

Engaging in Politics Without Alienating Customers

Engaging in politics can be tricky for small business owners. It’s important to advocate for your business interests without alienating your customers. Lauren offers strategies for effective political engagement that avoid the pitfalls of appearing overly partisan. By focusing on the facts and the impacts on your business, you can engage in meaningful and productive conversations with legislators.

The Importance of Local and State-Level Engagement

While federal legislation often grabs headlines, local and state-level engagement can yield significant outcomes. In states like Maine, local advocacy can have a big impact, even in an era of high political drama. Small business lobbying at the local level can be more accessible and directly relevant to your business.

Practical Advice for Monitoring Legislative Developments

  • Use Online Resources: Many state legislatures have websites where you can track bills and committee meetings.
  • Participate in Community Meetings: Attend local government meetings to stay informed and voice your concerns.
  • Network with Other Business Owners: Share information and strategies for staying informed about legislative changes.


Our podcast episode with Lauren LePage serves as a clarion call to small business owners to get engaged in the legislative process. By reaching out to legislators, participating in trade associations, and considering hiring government affairs professionals when necessary, you can influence policy and protect your business interests. Small business lobbying is not just about navigating the maze of policy and bureaucracy; it’s about turning policy hurdles into advocacy triumphs.

At Paper Trails, we’re here to support you through these challenges. With practical advice and inspirational anecdotes, we hope to empower you to chart a course through government affairs and claim legislative success for your small business.

This podcast is a production of Paper Trails. We are a payroll and HR company based in Kennebunk, Maine, and we serve small and mid-sized businesses across New England and the country. If you found this podcast helpful, don’t forget to follow us at at Paper Trails Payroll across all social media platforms and check us out at for more information. As a reminder, the views, opinions and thoughts expressed by the hosts and guests alone. The material presented in this podcast is for general information purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice. By inviting this guest to our podcast, Paper Trails does not imply endorsement of or opposition to any specific individual, organization, product or service.