Small Business Majority has created a comprehensive state policy agenda to ensure entrepreneurship is at the center of a thriving and inclusive economy in Colorado. The state’s 611,000 small businesses employ 1.1 million people (about half of the private workforce) and created more than 52,000 jobs in 2015.
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’re sitting down with members of our Outreach Team to provide an introduction and let small business owners know how our team members can assist them.
This week we are spotlighting Lindsey Vigoda, Small Business Majority’s Colorado Outreach Manager.
Zach Martinucci sees bread as much more than the bookends to a sandwich—he views it as a way to connect with his neighbors, friends and family. Before opening Rebel Bread in Denver two years ago, Zach used his unique recipes to make loaves based on his friends’ personalities. One friend, who he describes as “sweet, spicy and a bit nutty,” was delighted to receive a sourdough loaf made with cayenne pepper and candied pecans.
Denver student Kamiya Willoughby is challenging preconceived notions about a popular type of food that is often construed as unhealthy and unsophisticated.
“Soul food is a legitimate cuisine, but most people see it as a snack or junk food that you can only eat every once in a while.” Kamiya said.
“It is such a classic American cuisine that deserves a spotlight and deserves a step away from the stereotypes,” added Tess Hurlbert, Kamiya’s fiancée and business partner.
Colorado Director Hunter Railey testifed in support of HB19-188 or the Family Medical Leave Insurance Program (FAMLI) Act, which would create a study to assess the feasibility and necessary steps to implement a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado. This study will be crucial in setting up future legislation in the state legislature to create such a plan.
Colorado Director Hunter Railey testifies in support of SB19-173, which would establish the Colorado Secure Savings Plan Board to study the feasibility of a program that allows private-sector employees to contribute to an individual retirement savings account through modest payroll deductions. Such a plan would help small business owners offer retirement savings benefits at no added cost to their business.
Colorado Director Hunter Railey testifies in support of HB19-1168, which authorizes Colorado to seek a state innovation waiver from the U.S.
Colorado Director Hunter Railey testifies in support of HB19-1174, which addresses suprise out-of-network billing. The bill would require healthcare providers and facilities to disclose service performed by out-of-network providers and disclose the claims and payments process. It would also require consumers receive easy to understand notifications of their rights regarding bills from out-of-network providers, and sets “reasonable rates of payment” for these out-of-network providers.
The Colorado state legislature is considering a bill that would make Colorado the seventh state in the country to establish a program guaranteeing access to paid leave to care for a newborn child or a sick family member. Small business owners and their employees are particularly affected by the current lack of access to paid family leave as many small businesses can’t afford to offer robust benefits, putting them at a disadvantage with their larger counterparts. Small business has been central to ongoing debates over the legislation, and new polling sheds light on their views on the proposal and their struggles to offer access to paid family and medical leave benefits.
Colorado Director Hunter Railey testified in opposition to HB19-1058. Unlike the previously proposed FAMLI Act, HB19-1058 would not do enough to make accessing paid family and medical leave affordable for most small business owners and their employees. Additionally, it would not do enough to increase access for moderate- and low-income workers who already struggle to save for emergencies or retirement.