Lavoie CEO Named A North Carolina Hill Week Captain for Goldman Sachs 10,0000 Small Business Voices Initiative

Lavoie CEO Named A North Carolina Hill Week Captain for Goldman Sachs 10,0000 Small Business Voices Initiative

As the election season draws closer and the concerns of small businesses continue to grow in the wake of the pandemic, SMB’s are joining forces to make sure their voices are heard in congress. According to a Goldman Sachs survey released on September 8, 88% of small business owners have exhausted their PPP loan funding; with 43% of Black small business owners depleting their cash reserves by the end of the year. 

To help amplify US small business needs, Goldman Sachs is using its 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) Initiative to serve as a policy platform and community resource center. However, prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the 10KSB alumni collectively represented $12 billion in revenues and employed 175,000 people. More notably, 44% of these businesses are family-owned and 66% are minority and women-owned businesses.

“The 10,000 Small Businesses Voices initiative is designed to help small business owners in the United States advocate for policy changes that will help their businesses, their employees, and their communities,” according to Goldmansachs.com. “We provide the 10,000 Small Businesses Voices community with the tools, resources, and training needed to make their voices heard and drive tangible impact against real issues.”

Among the many tools to assist small businesses, the program includes surveys, open letters to congress, and ongoing virtual events to help guide owners through ongoing challenges and the most recent policy changes.

One of these events was the Virtual Capitol Hill Day held on June 9th -11th. Over three days, 2,100 small business owners connected with Members of Congress through 434 online meetings across all 50 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Lavoie CEO, Sharai Lavoie, was named a NC Hill Week Captain and lead discussions with congressional leaders and small businesses across the state.

Lavoie led three discussions one of which was with Congresswoman Alma Adams, representing North Carolina’s 12th District. Discussion topics included:

“I was thrilled to participate in this initiative,” says Lavoie CEO, Sharai Lavoie. “It’s programs like these that will give SMBs a fighting chance and help promote policies that positively impact the everyday American business owner.” 

To learn more about the 10,000 Small Business Voice initiative, check out the website to access resources or participate in the many surveys to inform congress of US business owners’ ongoing needs.

 

Race Talks in Sports

Race Talks in Sports

Charlotte Business Leader Sharai Lavoie joins Jerrold Kinney, De’Marcus Miller, and DeAndrae Watson for a discussion on race and the role the sports industry can play in creating positive change within the business community.  This captivating conversation explores systemic racism and the vital dialogue that should exist between equality advocates and business leaders.

Watch the full video below, and check out a few of the highlights!

Key Takeaways

Simply put, we as a society are at the crossroads of cultural advancement and organizational ineptitude. The topic of systemic racism, workplace inequality, and homogenous decision-making can no longer be ignored. However, the definition of the “talk” changes from colleague to colleague as do the continuous actions that need to follow. 

Over the years, sports professionals have championed those difficult conversations (“talks”) and been at the nexus of sustainable change and political progress. And now, with unparalleled access to recorded footage of police brutality and the confluence of back-to-back violence on black men and women, professionals and companies have an obligation to drive national momentum and activate the diversity conversation.

Here are some very real tips on how to move the equality needle from our Race Talks in Sports panelists:

Are you an athlete or a professional in the sports industry? Here’s how you can influence or participate in sustainable change:

  • Continue to be active in your communities… every day
  • Have your beliefs front and center… literally wear them where the cameras will see
  • Always participate in the conversation… no matter where you are
  • Get over your anxiety and fears surrounding communication… no matter what environment you’re in, someone can learn from your experiences
  • Bring your full, authentic self to the workplace… the court, the field, or the office

A company’s commitment to diversity

How to do more than just check the box

Unfortunately, most organizations check the diversity and inclusion box by creating an internal group, announcing it on social media, and that’s it. Committing to diversity means providing your employees the opportunity to be mentored and propelled into their desired industry or professional stature. Companies need to rethink how they can use these diversity and inclusion groups to present goals to leadership, and, over time, show what has actually been accomplished. This allows for true accountability and a way to track how quickly programs are progressing and identify ways to continuously improve. 

Start improving your diversity and inclusion initiative by focusing on these 5 areas: 

  • Evaluate Your Organization & Find The Right Skills That Can Lead Change
  • Build A Community With Accessible Communication Channels & Resources 
  • Educate Everyone In The Company From Leadership to Interns
  • Create Transparent Goals That Can Be Shared & Tracked
  • Drive Accountability That Can Be Analyzed On A Consistent Basis

Ways to Get Involved

Join the Charlotte Sports + Business Networking Group

Charlotte Sports+Business is a free networking group connecting sports industry executives in the Queen City. 

Join the Racial Equity Institute

A Greensboro based organization, the Racial Equality, Institute helps individuals and organizations develop the tools they need to challenge patterns and grow equity within their communities.

Watch Uncomfortable Conversations With A Black Man

Emmanuel Acho sits down to have an “uncomfortable conversation” with white America in order to educate and inform on racism, system racism, social injustice, rioting & the hurt African Americans are feeling today.

Moderator

Sharai Lavoie
CEO
Lavoie CPA

Participants

DeAndrae Watson
Vice President
Octagon

De’Marcus Miller
Senior Marketer

Jerrold Kinney
Senior Marketing & Strategy Professional

Community Engagement – Our CSR

Community Engagement – Our CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has gained traction in the past decade with many companies rethinking what their role as corporate citizens should be. One of the roles that we take on as a community member is to invest in our community by giving back to organizations and people who are in need. As a result, our employees participate in volunteering and sponsoring activities in the local Charlotte community every year.

“It is important to give back where you can. If it were not for mentors and others, we would not be where we are. I do believe that each one should teach one and pay it forward”

– Sharai Lavoie, CEO and Managing Member at Lavoie CPA.

Carrie Kirkpatrick Memorial Golf Tournament

Two weeks ago, it was time for the annual and local golf tournament that honors the first African American female golfer in Charlotte – Mrs. Carrie A. Kirkpatrick. Carrie was known as the First Lady and Senior States-woman in the Metrolina Area for African American female golfers. She played golf until she passed at the age of 86.

Sharai looks forward to the event every year as she feels it is a wonderful opportunity to do something she enjoys together with great people and give back to the community at the same time. “It’s the best way to spend an afternoon”, Sharai said.

Denise Shropshire, Jean Thomas, Sharai Lavoie and Humpy Wheeler

The event is organized by Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church and funds raised via donations and sponsorship help feed and support families in the Statesville Avenue area. The tournament is essential as the funds raised enables the continuation of support for organizations such as St. Martin de Porres Food Pantry and the Lucille Giles Men’s Shelter.

The 8th annual Carrie Kirkpatrick Gold Tournament took place at the Tradition Golf Club in Charlotte, NC. Sharai, who teamed up with Denise and Jean (pictured above) ended up taking 3rd place for women’s.

“This year’s event was wonderful and thankfully not too hot. Also, I am better at golf this year so I could contribute more to my team!”, Sharai said. “Ultimately, it was great to be a part of this year’s event and contribute to their cause. I already look forward to next year!”