The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) recently held its annual Lobbying Day on May 25, 2011 in Washington D.C. Comprised of industry volunteers from all sections of PBA's membership, attendees converged on "the Hill" to meet with members of Congress and their legislative teams to promote the Small Business Tax Equalization and Compliance Act.

The Bill, which was reintroduced for 2011 in the Senate as S. 974 and the House of Representatives as H.R. 1957, continues to seek cosponsors and aims for passage in the near future. With bipartisan support, the Bill is primarily backed by Senators Olympia Snowe (R - ME) and Mary Landrieu (D - LA) and House of Representative members Sam Johnson (R - TX) and Shelley Berkley (D - NV). Passage of the Small Business Tax Equalization and Compliance Act would greatly help the salon industry by providing owners with additional funds ($11,000 on average) to reinvest in their business for such things as employee healthcare, education, and capital improvements WITHOUT any detriment to employee wages or tips.


PBA Lobby Day in Washington D.C.

L-R) Frank Zona, Owner of Zona Salons; Bruce Selan, Chair of PBA; Rep. John Lewis of Georgia; Eric Schwartz, COO of OPI.


"It is vitally important for the long-term growth and prosperity of our industry to actively engage government officials at all levels and share with them the priorities of the professional beauty industry," states Myra Irizarry, PBA's Manager of Government Affairs. "Whether it is the Small Business Tax Equalization and Compliance Act or one of the other issues PBA's Government Advocacy efforts are fighting for, we encourage everyone to become involved and be a part of the solution."

During the lobbying visit, which is supported by industry volunteers, PBA's representatives explained that S. 974 / H.R. 1957 would provide tax fairness (the restaurant industry has enjoyed this tax advantage for 18 years), improve tip reporting (a long-term benefit for individual stylists), and allow salon owners to expand and invest in their businesses and employees.

In addition to the Capitol Hill visits, PBA also participated in the highly attended Welcome To Our World (WTOW) event. WTOW creates a salon environment in the famed Cannon Caucus Room where members of Congress and their teams enjoy complimentary nail services, haircuts, massages, and even eye-brow threading - all in an effort to learn more about the beauty industry.

To tell your Congressional representative that you support the Small Business Tax Equalization and Compliance Act, visit www.probeauty.org/advocacy. An easy to complete, pre-populated form is available which will be electronically sent to your representative by PBA. Volunteers are always needed for Lobby Day. Those interested should contact PBA's Government Affairs team at 800-468-2274.