The day after she turned 16 in 1969, Nancy Roesner started working at Copley Feed and Supply, a long-established farm animal and pet supply store founded in 1939.
She and her husband, Mark, in 1980 bought the small business, off South Cleveland-Massillon Road in Copley.
“We grew up with the business and now we’re part of the cobwebs,” joked Roesner, now 59. The store now has 12 full- and part-time employees.
Copley Feed’s previous owner had been a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, a national advocacy and lobbying organization for small businesses.
Nancy Roesner kept that relationship with the NFIB. She eventually joined the group’s Summit County Action Area Council, where local business owners discuss what issues and concerns to bring before the larger NFIB. (The organization’s headquarters is in Tennessee; it has offices in all 50 states and in Washington, D.C.)
Roesner is newly elected to the statewide leadership council of NFIB/Ohio.
“We represent Ohio,” she said. The leadership council meets quarterly.
The state group takes stands on issues it feels help or hurt small business and brings its views directly to the state’s elected officials, she said. “You can go talk to our representatives one on one,” she said.
Roesner said the NFIB is the only group she knows of that fights for small businesses to help keep them solvent, she said.
Small-business issues include taxes, regulations and more, she said. She said in recent years she has become more vocal in politics and describes herself as a small-government advocate.
“We just need less government telling us what to do,” Roesner said.
Roesner said other small-business owners regularly stop by Copley Feed to talk issues to bring up to the NFIB.
She said she encourages other small-business owners to join the NFIB, saying it is a valuable resource.
“We’re always looking for new members,” Roesner said.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org