Small Business Majority has created a comprehensive state policy agenda to ensure entrepreneurship remains at the center of a thriving and inclusive economy in California. California’s 3.9 million small businesses employ seven million people, which amounts to about half of the private workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
More than a year and a half into the pandemic, many small businesses are unsure if they will be able to recover after fighting to stay above water and accruing crippling debt. Small business owners of color, women and immigrants have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic as they’ve faced barriers to accessing federal relief programs and traditional lending. Small business owner Daysi Del Rosario Rivas Peralta is one example.
Deb Ramirez Rock’s Sonoma, Calif.-sourced hot sauce has been her passion project for more than seven years, but after a series of unpredictable events—starting with a wildfire in 2019 that destroyed her crops—it has been an uphill battle to make her organic, locally made hot sauce.
California lawmakers are weighing a proposal to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test for customers at consumer-facing businesses and to similarly require employers to mandate vaccinations or negative COVID-19 tests for employees. New opinion polling from Small Business Majority reveals that small businesses in California are supportive of proposals to mandate vaccinations and testing at places of business to help ensure local economies can operate safely, amid setbacks from the current surge in COVID-19 cases.
Small Business Majority’s Outreach Team advocates for entrepreneurs on two fronts: It supports policies that would benefit small firms, and it offers workshops and events that help small business owners grow their companies. We have found this work to be even more important during this global health and economic crisis.
This week we are spotlighting Josaline Cuesta, Small Business Majority’s Senior California Program Manager and Southern California Outreach Manager.
Q: Could you tell us about your position at Small Business Majority?
After working as a rescue specialist at a fire department in Mexico City for many years, Hector Chavez and his family moved to the United States so he could pursue certifications and advance his career. But 10 years later and out of opportunities to continue his passion, Hector decided to open Plaza Garibaldi, a Mexican restaurant in Soledad, Calif.
On June 16, Small Business Majority wrote a letter to California legislators in support of AB 1444, which would support small restaurants by ensuring that food delivery platforms and online directories provide accurate business information, prohibit third-party platforms from charging restaurants for calls that do not result in orders and require the disclosure of any possible fees charged to a restaurant when placing an order.
On June 10, 2021 Small Business Majority wrote to California State Senator Richard Roth in support of AB 915, which would ensure that a fair share of procurement spending is directed and dedicated to small and minority-owned small businesses.
While the worst part of the pandemic may seem to be in the rearview mirror, small business owner Brandon Lindley and his husband Raphael Polito say it depends on the location of your business. As licensees of the world-renowned flip-flop brand Havaianas, Brandon and Raphael own two locations in the United States: One in downtown Palm Springs, Calif. and the other one in Scottsdale, A.Z.
Many California small businesses would like to offer retirement options to their employees—to help attract a talented workforce and boost employee morale—but can’t afford the overhead and administrative costs. The state now requires that all businesses with five or more employees facilitate employee participation in CalSavers if they don’t already have a retirement plan in place. Businesses are being phased into the program over time based on their number of employees.