Businesses: Take a Lead on Democracy
The U.S. has one of the lowest voter participation rates in the developed world, as low as 36 percent in the last midterm elections. One of the most common reasons people give for not voting is that they’re too busy with the demands of work and life.
To shift the balance, some of the largest companies in the country have joined forces to launch the Time to Vote initiative. This movement encourages businesses to offer incentives for employees to vote, including paid time off, a day without meetings, early voting resources, etc.
At the time of this post, over 250 businesses have joined the campaign, including Kaiser Permanente, Levi Strauss & Co., PayPal, Tyson Foods, Walmart, and outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia. Patagonia has even gone so far as to announce it will close all its stores nationwide, as well as its warehouses and corporate headquarters, on Election Day.
Benecomms is closing too. In addition to encouraging our team members to take time to vote, we are urging them to spend the day giving back, either by volunteering at the polls, with their favorite charity, or dedicating time to one of our pro bono projects.
While Benecomms isn’t quite as big as Patagonia (yet!), what’s true is that together, small businesses can make a huge difference. Small businesses make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms, creating 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs.
In short, small businesses are the main driver of the U.S. economy, which also happens to make them the main beneficiary of democracy and all the trappings that come with it – from public education to roads, and from government contracts to our military.
Whether your business is large or small, consider signing up with Time to Vote. Your employees will value and appreciate that you are helping them take the time they need to do their civic duty.
P.S. Uber and Lyft are offering users free and discounted rides to the polls on Election Day!