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Rep. Young Kim, small business owners discuss challenges and opportunities on the ‘Road to Recovery’

On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, Congresswoman Young Kim (R-CA-39) visited Special Occasions DJ and Lighting in Brea, California, for a tour and a roundtable discussion with local small business owners on the challenges small businesses still face on the ‘Road to Recovery.’

The visit to the small business started with a tour led by Ajay Manaktala of Special Occasions DJ and Lighting. Following the tour, Rep. Kim participated in a roundtable discussion.The attending California small business owners — Virginia Pina of Brea Auto Body, Angela Jones of ViArch Integrated Solutions, and Angela Chang KCAL Insurance Agency— are members of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices community and graduates of the 10,000 Small Businesses program delivered in partnership with Los Angeles City College and Long Beach City College.

During the roundtable, Rep. Kim heard about the difficulties the small businesses have encountered during their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including workforce challenges, the impact of inflation and supply chain disruptions, and competing with larger businesses. The small business owners also addressed the need to reauthorize and modernize the Small Business Administration and what elected leaders can do to help small businesses.

“Thank you to Special Occasions DJ and Lighting in Brea for hosting me for a tour and a productive roundtable discussion with local small business owners on the challenges they face as they recover from the COVID-19 lockdowns,” said Rep. Young Kim. “Our entrepreneurs and workers are bearing the brunt of higher costs, persistent supply chain disruptions and staffing challenges. As a member of the House Small Business Committee, I will always be a loud voice for our small business owners and will keep working to fight inflation, strengthen domestic supply chains and create meaningful workforce development opportunities.”

A recent nationwide survey of small business owners from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices community found that small businesses are bearing the brunt of economic issues, such as supply chain disruptions and inflation, and fear they are losing ground to bigger companies as they absorb inflationary pressures and compete for workers.

Additionally, the survey found that 81% of small business owners believe reauthorizing and modernizing the SBA should be a top priority for 118th Congress. The SBA, the federal agency charged with supporting American small businesses, was reauthorized by Congress seven times between 1980-2000, but the Agency has not been reauthorized since.Prioritizing SBA’s reauthorization would help put small businesses on stronger footing to compete with larger businesses.

“Small business owners are resilient and committed to remaining a core part of the local economy and our communities, but the road to recovery from the pandemic continues to present serious challenges,” said Ajay Manaktala, owner of Special Occasions DJ and Lighting. “As members of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices community, we appreciate Congresswoman Kim for hearing us out and learning from us. We look forward to working with him on the reforms needed to address these challenges, so small businesses can come back even stronger.”

“Business practices and the realities we face have changed since the Small Business Administration was last reauthorized more than 20 years ago. Modernizing and reauthorizing the agency is a tangible action Congress can take to put small businesses on stronger footing,” continued Manaktala.

Other toplines from the survey data include:

  • Recruiting and hiring workers is the top challenge for small business owners, with many reporting they are unable to compete with bigger companies for qualified workers.
  • 74% of small business owners experiencing hiring challenges cite competition with larger employers on pay and benefits as their biggest impediment.
  • 96% of small business owners say inflationary pressures have increased or stayed the same since June.
  • 83% of small business owners say they are concerned their customers may turn to bigger companies given their ability to better withstand inflationary pressures and potentially offer more competitive pricing.
  • 62% anticipate a recession in the next year, while 43% believe the U.S. economy is already in a recession.

The event was part of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices ‘Road to Recovery,’ a cross-country series of bipartisan events connecting elected officials with small business owners and giving participating elected officials at the local, state, and federal levels the opportunity to listen and learn from small business owners directly about challenges and opportunities facing small businesses coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This article was released by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices.

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