J.J. Darby chosen as new state director of NFIB/South Carolina

January 12, 2009

Legislative priorities will include tax relief, improving access to affordable health insurance  

COLUMBIA, Jan. 12, 2009—J.J. Darby, owner of the Columbia government relations firm Tallon Darby Communications, has been chosen as state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, starting today. He succeeds Wendy Homeyer, who will assist with the transition. 

Darby previously worked as a lobbyist with The Palmetto Policy Group in Columbia. Before that, he was a consultant with Richard Quinn & Associates of Columbia and served Gov. Mark Sanford as director of boards and commissions. 

“While we’re sorry to lose Wendy, J.J. brings a lot of energy and a deep understanding of state government to NFIB/South Carolina,” said Gary Selvy, NFIB’s South Region Public Policy Director. “J.J. will serve NFIB’s nearly 5,000 Palmetto State members well.” NFIB is South Carolina’s leading small business association. 

“Small business is the bedrock of this state’s economy, and I will do everything I can to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses,” Darby said.  

Homeyer is leaving NFIB to run her own small business. “As a firm believer in NFIB, I did not come to this decision lightly; however, I feel due to family and personal reasons that running my own business, where I can work more flexible hours, is the best decision for my family.” Homeyer is married to Benjamin Homeyer, and they have a daughter, Sophie. 

NFIB has built significant momentum in South Carolina recently with important victories, such as the bill allowing small business owners to form associations and negotiate with health insurers, Darby said. “I will do everything I can to build on that momentum,” he said. 

In the legislative session that begins Tuesday, Jan. 13, NFIB/South Carolina’s priorities include: 

 – Comprehensive tax reform. According to the NFIB/South Carolina 2009 Member Ballot, 81.5 percent of respondents agree the state needs tax reform to encourage economic growth.  

 – Better access to affordable health insurance. Healthcare remains one of the biggest challenges facing South Carolina’s small business owners, their employees and their families. NFIB supports a state income tax credit for small businesses to buy health insurance. It also believes small businesses should be allowed to buy health plans that don’t include all state health insurance mandates.

– Workers’ compensation reform. NFIB supports requiring the state Workers’ Compensation Commission to use objective standards when determining a claimant’s award. 

“Small business accounts for 97 percent of all employers in South Carolina, so when you help small business, you help everyone,” Darby said.