Georgia Dealer Named Small-Business Champion

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David Martinez, owner of Suzuki/Arctic Cat of Bartow County, Ga., has been honored for his lobbying efforts by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a 65-year-old nonprofit association representing small and independent businesses.

Martinez, who is also president of the Georgia Motorcycle Dealers Association, was named the 2009 Solveras/NFIB Small Business Champion for Georgia.

The NFIB’s director for the state, David Raynor (left in photo), recently presented a plaque to Martinez and his family.

“David’s activism speaks for itself,” Raynor said in a press release. “David joined NFIB a year ago because he wanted to get involved and speak out on issues that affect his small business, and he’s certainly accomplished that.”

According to the NFIB, Martinez played a vital role in winning legislative support for Rep. Tom Graves’ Jobs, Opportunity and Business Success (JOBS) Act, a bill that would have offered tax credits to employers that hire people who are receiving unemployment benefits.

Martinez attended and testified at numerous committee hearings, lobbied the governor’s office and encouraged other small-business owners to support the bill — and join the NFIB. The JOBS Act passed the General Assembly this spring but was vetoed by the governor. The NFIB says it will ask lawmakers to revisit the issue when the legislature returns to Atlanta in January.

“David is the kind of member we know we can depend on,” Raynor stated. “NFIB is the voice of small business in Atlanta, but it’s members like David who make sure our voice is heard loud and clear.”