Craig Brightup, CEO of The Brightup Group, might not know a lot about the roofs contractors are building, but he certainly knows about the economy the contractors are facing.
Brightup, Chief Executive Officer of The Brightup Group, was previously Vice President of Government Relations for the National Roofing Contractors Association, having opened the Chicago-based NRCA’s Capitol Hill office in 1990. Since 1990, Brightup also has run NRCA’s political program and been treasurer of its political action committee, ROOFPAC.
Brightup gave an overview of federal issues affecting the $30 billion commercial and residential roofing industry, with an agenda including labor relations, worker safety, health care, energy, environment, transportation, insurance, procurement, regulatory reform, taxes and immigration.
He examined the political landscape, predicting a wave of Republican victories on election day that would make John Boehner Speaker of the House and Reid Ribble, a roofing contractor, a U.S. Senator - predictions that came to pass on Nov. 2.
Brightup talked about the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed on Feb. 17, 2009. “Why is it taking so long to get the stimulus money where it’s supposed to go?” he asked.
ARRA opportunities in the form of tax breaks are available, noted Brightup. “Talk to your accountant,” he suggested.
According to Brightup, worries about the effects of health insurance, financial regulation, and changes in tax rates have resulted in an “uncertainty crisis” that has paralyzed the economy. He pointed to the Nov. 2 election as “the turning point for business.” He told attendees, “Your best opportunity is electing a fiscally responsible, pro-business Congress in November.”