The Small Business Freedom Alliance began with three local business owners feeling very frustrated about the responses to the Covid 19 Virus from our local, state, and federal governments. Jared Mounts, Patti Solenberger and Josh Phelps had dealt with keeping their “essential” businesses open from the time the virus was announced and through each phase of the government’s ever-changing responses. Every business was caught off guard by the virus and the related impacts. Fifteen days to slow the spread turned into many businesses being closed for two months or permanently. Once the government started issuing executive orders and mandates and it started impacting the local business community they knew they had to organize and connect with other like-minded businesses and stand up to government overreach. Once it was clear that local elected bodies were not going to do anything to help protect their businesses and taxpayers, they knew they needed to find other local businesses who believed the same way and needed to learn how to use a collective voice.
The first meeting was in January 2021. Jared, Josh and Patti met together at Shenandoah Refrigeration and decided that the time was right to pursue action. They met again in February and added David Kent and Kevin McKannan, both veterans and business owners who were concerned about how our government was using mandates to divide and control our community. In April, Cary Claytor Nelson joined and shared how the mandates and government policy were affecting her local family owned business. By this time many more local businesses were joining the meetings. In May was the first meeting at West Oaks Farm Market and it became the official meeting location.
The Small Business Freedom Alliance meets on the second Wednesday of every month at the West Oaks Farm Market. The SBFA Freedom Meeting begins with networking at 7:30am and the meeting starts at 8am and ends at 9am sharp. Every meeting we share the tenets of the SBFA: All businesses are essential all the time. We will stand up to government overreach into our businesses and lives. We will educate our members about their rights and freedoms so they can make informed choices for their businesses and families. Every meeting includes a speaker who educates us on topics important to our businesses and a local business owner who shares how current government policies are affecting their businesses. The Small Business Freedom Alliance welcomes new members who see the need to actively pursue ways to organize together, learn about our rights and freedoms and stand up to government overreach when it becomes necessary.