Networking Referrals


Legislators respond best to the people they represent. Any legislator will tell you he or she would rather hear from a constituent than anyone else. Members of Congress depend on ABC members like you to tell them how proposed legislation or regulations will affect the construction industry, your district and especially your company and its employees.

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Communication by Telephone Calling is a great option when immediately trying to convey your opinion. Call a member of Congress’ office prior to an important vote to remind him or her how you would like them to vote. Congressional offices almost always count the number of calls received for and against certain pieces of legislation, and consider these calls an informal gauge of their constituents’ opinions. For example, with regard to the card check legislation, one Senate office told ABC that it had received 25 calls supporting the bill for every one call against the bill. ABC is strongly opposed to this legislation. See Appendix C for a Guide to Effective Calls.Guide to Effective Calls While it usually is best to put your views in writing to your legislators, when a vote is scheduled to take place immediately, calling your representative’s office is a very effective way to make your views known.Some points to keep in mind:Unless you are a personal friend of the legislator, it is not necessary to speak directly with him or her. You can leave a message about your concerns with the individual who answers the phone, or, better yet, with the legislator’s staff member who handles the particular issue in question. “I’d like to talk to the individual in your office who handles labor legislation.”Try not to argue. Just express your opinion. Say why you feel the way you do, and state what action you want your legislator to take. “I am against H.R.100 because it will cost my business more than $1,000 extra per employee each year– this is something I just cannot afford. Please let Representative Smith know that I urge him to vote ‘no’ on this bill.”Seek assurances that the message will be transmitted to your legislator, and request a response in writing. “Would you please pass this message directly to Representative Smith, and also send me a letter about his views on the bill?”It is very important when calling a legislator’s office to remember these cardinal rules:Be sure to give your full name and address; and, keep your call short and to the point.Your legislator’s number is available through the ABC Action app.Communicating by Fax and Email. When a bill is coming up for a vote, and there is not enough time for a letter or personal meeting, email and fax are the fastest ways to voice your opinion. The guidelines listed above for writing letters apply to these forms of communication as well. While personalized constituent correspondence is ideal, ABC also utilizes its Grassroots network and Voter VOICE software to distribute Action Alerts, making it easy to e-mail your legislators. A message is pre-written according to the legislation, and with only a few clicks a message is sent. When you receive an Action Alert, distribute it to your employees and associates- strength in numbers is the only way to be really effective in these instances.


HB 2439 - Responsible Bidder Requirements - 1st Notice

HB 2439 - Responsible Bidder Requirements - 2nd Notice

SB 1682 - Alarm System Licensing

Members Only

Networking Opportunities

ABC maximizes its opportunities among its members locally and nationally. On a local basis, chapter events include
  • regional dinner meetings with guest speakers twice a year
  • golf outing
  • Excellence in Construction awards
  • other appropriate gatherings to bring members together to network.
These are the times when general contractors & construction managers seek to meet prime contractors to bid their work and talk about future projects.  Prime contractors introduce other prime contractors to developers and architects for future consideration;  associates have the opportunity to meet company representatives that can utilize their services or products.

On a local and national basis, networking occurs on a daily basis as calls come into the ABC office asking for current lists of members for Illinois projects; these requests are directed to all members in the specified work category.  Similarly, Bid Alerts are sent out frequently, giving the opportunity for members to work with one another.

Committee participation via ABC standing committees (see application for specifics) also offers an opportunity to become familiar with other business owners as you advance a shared cause or interest. Advancement to a national committee or attendance at a national convention produces even more opportunities to develop business relationships.

Business Referrals

ABC continues to educate construction users on the advantages of using ABC Merit Shop businesses. Daily, requests for referrals are received at the ABC office and range from out-of-state contractors seeking qualified sub contractors and suppliers to local owners looking for qualified builders for their projects. Using their award winning Membership Directory and promoting a state-wide public image campaign, ABC is dedicated in bringing you business opportunities.

The ABC National website hosts When potential construction users build in unfamiliar areas, they can rely on this electronic national directory as their source to find Merit Shop contractors and suppliers.

Our monthly electronic newsletter, The Merit Update, and our online Membership Directory, as well as our smartphone app, continue to generate new leads daily. As construction users see the merit in using Merit Shop contractors, these publications are in great demand. Besides categorical and alphabetical listing arrangements, specific individual advertising space is available.

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