October 22, 2014

Making Congress Work for You

It’s a presidential election year, which means the political silly season is well underway. In addition, all seats in the House of Representative are up for election, and about 33 Senate seats are open as well.

united states flag

This means we’re in for months of promises (some well-meaning, some empty) from our Representatives and Senators about all the things they’re going to do for us. Given that Congress has a job approval rate of 14.6 percent, they obviously have a lot of ground to make up.

But actually, your congressional representative already provides an invaluable service that most small business owners aren’t aware of, and don’t use to their advantage. Entrepreneurs, Dennis Ruggeri and Jason Stern, teamed up to start a new company, Impel Apps and create a new app – TAPCongress – that helps you do just that.

The app, which was just released last week, has nothing to do with politics. Rather, it enables small business owners to find the right person in your Senator or Congressman’s office to help you get what you need.

Ruggeri, who also is the president of Elicere, an IT service company, says:

“Most small business owners don’t realize they can make Congress work for them.  Congressional offices provide many free services to small businesses such as help with federal procurement assistance, grant writing assistance, and disaster recovery, to name a few.  We created TAPCongress to allow users to easily find out about these services and connect them to Congressional offices with a few simple taps.”

So exactly what can your Congressman do for you? Stern, who also runs Braddock Communications, a publishing company based in Washington, explains:

“TAPCongress can help businesses optimize Congressional constituent services.”

You can take advantage of the free non-political services provided by the caseworkers who staff the offices of U.S. Representative and Senators.  Many of these caseworkers do not work in Washington, D.C., but are instead located back home in the congressional district, so you can get more immediate, local attention.

In addition, the app offers tips explaining how to best engage with Congressional staffers about legislation important to a small business, provides a core Congressional directory featuring information about each representative and Senator (including bio, links to their websites, key staffers, and committees), and includes articles explaining what specific services are provided, and how to effectively work with the Congressional offices and caseworkers.

TAPCongress is not just about providing access to your elected representatives. There are also links and phone numbers for many of the federal departments, agencies, and commissions that small business owners might need to deal with.

In addition, if you’re looking for even more information, the apps can put you in touch with think tanks, major media outlets, and other resources, as well as providing thousands of business news feeds, and business news stories about your congressional representatives.

Connecting for all of this is simple. To use the app, you just tap the link to reach a website, and tap the phone number to initiate a call. (Hence the TAPCongress name.)  To register and download the app, go to the TapCongress website.


Flag Photo via Shutterstock

6 Comments ▼

Rieva Lesonsky


Rieva Lesonsky Rieva Lesonsky is a staff writer for Small Business Trends covering employment, retail trends and women in business. She is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow her on Google+ and visit her blog, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

6 Reactions

  1. Thank you for this post. I did not know that my congressperson or my representative could be so helpful. Do you know if TAPCongress has a success story? I’d like to hear about that.

  2. This is a very informative post! I was unaware of some of the free services provided for small business owners by congressional offices. Thank you.

  3. Thanks Tomas and Ashley.And Tomas, you can go to the linked websites to find out their personal journeys.

  4. Fantastic resource for small business owners, Rieva. Thank you for posting.

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