Georgia Lawmakers Get Up Close and Personal at Pawn Expo 2023

Lisa Little, CPP® 

President, Georgia Pawnbrokers Association 

NPA Board of Directors 

Pawn Expo Atlanta 2023 was more than just a tradeshow. The Georgia Pawnbrokers Association (GPA) upped the ante by inviting Georgia senators and representatives to check out the action on the expo floor. They got a glimpse of the real deal – how diverse, dynamic, and downright essential pawnbroking is to the state’s economy. The lawmakers were impressed with the professionalism they witnessed, the different industries pawnbroking touches, and the “mom and pop” shop owners who are such an important part of our industry and their own communities. 


Lunch Break Conversations 

GPA wasn’t done yet. A luncheon was the next on the agenda and GPA, National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA), and NPA Government Relations Committee (GRC) leaders got together for one-on-one conversations with Georgia lawmakers. Lawmakers were surprised by the number of federal regulations we must adhere to and discussed everything from pawn industry rules to how their constituents use our services. We also discussed Georgia’s economy and what our industry’s future looks like. 

A Win-Win Scenario 

Was our effort a success? No doubt about it! We didn’t just host a state event; we built bridges and changed perceptions. With our lawmakers getting a firsthand view at our tradeshow and some friendly lunch conversations, we’ve opened up lines of conversation in the future.  


What’s Next? 

Now, it’s your turn! Have you dropped a card to your area’s lawmakers? Tidy up and invite them into your shop. Showcase the best of pawn. Start building those relationships now so you will have them tomorrow. Remember, many of your state’s lawmakers are entrepreneurs, too. Let them know you are not what they see on TV and in movies. You are an entrepreneur – a professional pawnbroker serving their constituents with integrity. 


Lisa Little