Indian-American State Representative in Ohio recognized as ‘Guardian’ of small business

Ohio State Rep. Niraj Antani, left, receiving the NFIB Guardian Of Small Business Award Sept. 2, 2020 from Roger Geiger, executive director of NFIB-Ohio,. Photo:

Ohio State Rep. Niraj Antani, the only Indian-American elected leader to the state legislature, was recently recognized for championing the cause of small business.

The National Federation of Independent Business, Ohio Chapter, presented Antani with the NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award for 2020, according to a press release on the NFIB website.

“Proud to present Rep. @NirajAntani with the @NFIB Guardian of #SmallBiz for 2020 – we only give it to one legislator in each chamber,” the organization tweeted.

The NFIB is the state’s leading small business association in Ohio. Antani represents District 42. On the Senate side, State Senator Matt Dolan, Ohio Senate District 24, received the award.

“The recognition is for their outstanding efforts to support small business issues in the Ohio Legislature,” the NFIB said.

“Representative Antani has a distinguished record in the Ohio Legislature. During that time, he has been a staunch supporter of Ohio’s small businesses, maintaining a 100% lifetime voting record with NFIB,” Roger Geiger, executive director of NFIB in Ohio is quoted saying in the press release. “He consistently reaches out to the business community on key issues, understanding that growing Ohio’s economy begins with the entrepreneurs of the state who create two out of three new jobs and are leaders in their communities. Our organization is proud to recognize him for his outstanding support.”

“I am so thankful to NFIB for this award. Every day at the Ohio Statehouse, I work hard to fight for small business owners and their employees, as they are the engine of our economy. I look forward to continuing to work with NFIB on advancing small business issues,” said Rep. Antani who happens to be among the youngest lawmakers ever elected in the nation, back in 2015, when he was 23. Now at 29, he is serving his third term in office, and in a campaign to win a seat to the State Senate.

The award has been an annual feature for 30 years. The NFIB Leadership Council for Ohio, which is comprised of members of the organization from across the state, voted to present Representative Antani and Senator Dolan with the Guardian of Small Business Award for 2020.




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