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:
- Increased Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) flexibility
- Allowing small businesses to apply for the second round of PPP funding
- Strengthening financial safeguards for small businesses by providing a temporary liability shield for litigation related to COVID-19 [Interesting fact: Congresswoman Adam and Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate, Kamala Harris, joined forces one month later to announce a new bill ensuring anti-racism training for medical professionals and health service providers. – Want to learn how to move the equality needs in your organization? Check out our blog on how business leaders can lead positive change in their organizations.]
“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.