We have said this before, and we will say it again: Let your voice be heard.
As of presstime for this issue, Congress was still arguing over the "Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act of 2021" (INVEST), which calls for spending billions of dollars to improve the country's transportation infrastructure, including roads and bridges.
We know that the definition of "infrastructure" has been broadened to include high-speed internet access and rebuilding the electric grid, but in the traditional sense, infrastructure — as in investing in roads and bridges — is good for all of us, no matter which side of the aisle you are on.
Any influx of funding on road construction will trickle down to tire dealerships that work with supplying tires and servicing commercial equipment.
Fleet work of all kinds, especially in the construction industry, should continue to spike if the $1 trillion bill passes the House. And let's hope the progressives in the House get on board soon.
Congress also is mulling the "Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act" (RPM), which aims to clarify U.S. EPA regulations so as to specifically exclude vehicles modified to be dedicated race cars.
For tire dealerships that supply tires and service race cars competing in amateur and professional racing events around the country, this is an important issue that will impact their customers' ability to modify their vehicles.
This is another bipartisan piece of legislation — U.S. Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Jon Tester, D-Mont., have reintroduced it recently. Several versions of the bill have been introduced in both houses of Congress over the last six years — all of which stalled in committees.
This, too, should pass without further delay.
Then there are the antidumping and countervailing duties the U.S. has imposed over the past several years certain tires imported from various Asian nations. These actions are reviewed every five years under "sunset" regulations by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission.
These duties elevate the prices of certain tire brands imported into the U.S. and thus impact the distributors and dealerships that sell the tires in the retail and commercial markets.
There are many in the tire industry who feel strongly for or against these duties.
It all comes down to this: What happens in Washington impacts even the smallest tire dealership. So it is imperative that tire dealers make their opinions heard on legislation that may impact their businesses --- negatively or positively.
Sitting back and grumbling doesn't make a difference. Talking among your peers can blow off some steam, but it rarely solves the deeper issue.
Contacting your local representatives and voicing your opinion can make a difference.
Showing up at meetings and hearings, and supporting trade associations' lobbying efforts, can make a difference.
Think of it this way: A handful of customers' complaints about an employee or an experience may be considered isolated incidents.
But if many customers complain in person or online over the course of a week or a month, their voices will be heard. The manager will be compelled to pay attention and hopefully address the issue.
It is simple to find out who your legislators are. Go to www.usa.gov/elected-officials. Follow the links, enter your correct information, and soon you will have contact information for any U.S. legislator.
Don't delay. Many voices on an issue may help sway the outcome of legislation. And that will impact your business.