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Advocacy Day 2020 Recap

Thanks to more than 60 registrants who made our first virtual Advocacy Day a success. A special thanks goes to the amazing women who are leading California on issues of small business and to all of those participants who spoke with their representatives. And of course, we couldn’t have pulled it off without the generous sponsorship of Claudia Viek, our former CEO and tireless advocate for women entrepreneurs.

Board chair Jesse Torres and CEO Carolina Martinez moderated our first hour where we heard from

  • Isabel Guzman (Director, Office of the Small Business Advocate for GO-Biz) about what California is doing to ensure small businesses remain in recovery plans, the  #ShopSafeShopLocal campaign, and connection to free digital tools;
  • Assemblymember Monique Limón, Chair of the Assembly Banking Committee and champion of responsible lending, reminded us how important it is for legislators to hear from their constituents, especially small businesses because the big businesses usually spend lots of money on lobbyists. 
  • Assemblymember Shirley Weber pressed the importance of leveling the playing field for underserved entrepreneurs by repealing Proposition 209 and reinstating affirmative action as well as the need for a commission to study reparations.

If you missed the conversation, check out the video.

After that, we had some fun with Zoom breakout rooms and our members met with about two dozen legislators on topics of responsible small business lending, the state response to COVID-19, and other micro-related topics.  Download the Advocacy Day Handout for Legislators.
One of our members had this to say about the meetings:

I really enjoyed speaking with the three offices I had the privilege of speaking with yesterday and will be following up with each…. It really was a very cool event and experience.

Robert Lopez of Accion and Daniel Fitzgerald of San Diego & Imperial SBDC meeting with Lucero Chavez from Asm. Lorena Gonzalez’s office.

After the meetings we recapped, networked, and had fun making cocktails with Elizabeth McSwain of Beola’s in Ontario, an Inland Empire WBC client.