The efforts on immigration by large groups like NRA, NRF and United Fresh raise a question, however: Will small associations get drowned out in the debate? Not if they leverage their stories and make a strong case in a lawmaker’s home district, says Paul Kanitra, CEO of LobbyIt.com, a nonpartisan firm that represents small association clients on both sides of the immigration issue.
Lobbyit.com is partnering with online organizing company Salsa Labs Inc., the firms announced Wednesday. The partnership will allow Lobbyit to offer clients a new package of services that include a grass-roots organizing component.
Good news for small businesses looking for a helping hand in Washington: More lobbying firms are lining up to do the bidding of the little guys. One example: Lobbyit.com, which focuses its business on helping smaller clients. The firm’s monthly $1,000 minimum is far short of the $50,000-a-month retainer that some marquee firms get paid to try to influence House and Senate members.
LobbyIt offers clients a range of pricing plans, from basic representation to bill tracking to “all hands on deck,” Kanitra said. LobbyIt does not lock clients into long-term contracts but instead offers commitments as short as one month for basic representation or three months for full service.
In the U.S., being a big corporation generally means you have a big budget for lobbying legislators and investing in political campaigns. But what about the little guy? How do small businesses access national representatives and affect or influence federal policy?
Paul Kanitra: Founder and CEO of LobbyIt.com – a D.C. Lobby firm that specializes in low cost lobbying for small businesses.
“Brand name firms charge up to a six-figure annual retainer for their formidable connections; opensecrets.org will tell you who others in your industry have retained and for how much. “The intimidation factor shuts out a lot of people,” says Paul Kanitra, whose start-up firm Lobbyit.com offers services from $995…”
“The game-changing lobbying firm for businesses, associations, municipalities and non-profits has completely rebranded from Keys to the Capitol to LobbyIt.com. The new name comes as LobbyIt.com’s transparent business model reaches new heights in bringing government access to the people…”
“For years large companies have enjoyed many advantages over smaller firms. Economies of scale. The ability to pay higher salaries to recruit talent. International networks and outsourcing to help maximize speed and cut prices. Perhaps most important, the big firms employ teams of lobbyists in Washington, D.C., to help them nail down government contracts, win favorable regulations, and persuade Congress to pass legislation helping them on a range of issues. Though small companies have their own trade associations that lobby in Washington, the power of these lobbyists pales in comparison to behemoths like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which focuses on broader business issues and is generally considered the most powerful business lobbyist in the capitol.
Now one boutique lobbying firm in Washington is pushing back. Led by Paul Kanitra…”
“LobbyIt.com works on a completely different business model than other federal lobbying firms. Rather than locking clients in to yearly contracts, the longest commitment LobbyIt requires is three months. Instead of using an opaque, case-by-case pricing structure (often running into the tens of thousands of dollars per month), LobbyIt.com offers three affordable pricing options, available to everyone. The firm also prides itself on clear, concise deliverables which holds the firm accountable for its results.”
“Kanitra’s company offers contracts starting at $995, month-to-month agreements and prices and other details spelled out on the company’s Web site.
The effort, which formally launches Friday after months of preparation, amounts to a bold experiment to remake the idea of Washington lobbying, where fee schedules are opaque and opulence is often viewed as part of the price of doing business.”