Being the Change

I’ve often felt that small business owners are fighting an uphill battle.

Often the bootstrappers, we are the ones who know how to get the work done.

We invest sweat equity into our businesses and solve seemingly impossible problems on a daily basis.

Small and medium companies comprise over 90 percent of the businesses in this country and we create 1.5 million jobs every year (or 64% of all jobs created).

So, in reality, we are kind of a big deal. But go and talk to a small business owner and they’ll most likely tell you about significant obstacles they face on a regular basis.

Taxes, rising costs of employee benefit packages, legal liability (especially in a time of Covid), access to capital and other issues often present significant challenges that need to be navigated day in and day out.

Personally, I wouldn’t trade being an entrepreneur with anything, but the reality is, small businesses across the country need help, now more than ever before.

Taking Action

I’ve had the good fortune to be in a position where I’ve been afforded direct access to our lawmakers. The above screenshot was taken recently during a Zoom call with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. And I’m not advocating just for my own business, but on behalf of small businesses across the country.

That opportunity came up as a result of my association with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program. Not only did that program greatly benefit my own business, but I’ve met so many friends and colleagues in the alumni group that I always highly recommend it to other business owners.

During last month’s Capitol Hill event I was put in a leadership role as one of the captains of the group. In all, more than 2,000 of us from all 50 states gathered virtually to speak to our representatives. This was my fourth time speaking to our lawmakers on behalf of small business and I intend to continue looking for opportunities to use my voice to advocate for this cause.

It’s easy to complain about how bad things are – on any topic – but it’s quite another thing to be a part of a group of people who are forging the path to make change possible.

Elin Barton is an author, speaker and is the President of White Knight Productions. She is also a 2015 graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10KSB Program and is on the Leadership Council of the National Small Business Association.

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