Cottie Petrie-Norris

Small businesses convene for red tape cutting listening tour

As chair of the California State Assembly Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris convened local small business owners for a discussion on how to best cut red tape, the challenges businesses face and ways government can make the path forward smoother. Since the pandemic, Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris has secured $85 million in state funding for 7,154 entrepreneurs in Irvine, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Laguna Woods. And by authoring AB 2019, she codified a 25% requirement for the State to contract with small businesses. 
“We have to continue discussing how we can rationalize regulations for small business success and focus on cutting red tape,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine). “I know intimately that our small businesses are not just the heart and soul of our economy but the heart and soul of our communities.”
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris met with small business owners at Kenwood’s Kitchen and Tap in Costa Mesa for a roundtable hosted by the Orange County Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (OCIE SBDC). Each of the small business owners in attendance benefitted from funding, counseling and technical assistance from the state and OCIE SBDC, including small business relief grants and California Dream Fund grants. They all complimented OCIE SBDC for supporting their businesses and continuing to help them grow with counseling and additional resources.
“Businesses still continue to struggle post-COVID with access to capital, workforce issues and supply chain delays,” said Mike Daniel, Network Director of the OCIE SBDC. “It was great to see the Assemblymember roll up her sleeves and really drill down on the issues that are most affecting small business owners and try and find solutions to make sure that they have the ability to succeed into the future.”  
Many of these businesses learned about the programs OCIE SBDC offers through social media and Google searches. The roundtable discussion focused on supply chain issues, including the delays, costs and increase in pricing of shipping goods which has also impacted cash flow. Inflation was also mentioned in playing a detrimental role in the current performance of small businesses. Businesses looking for new financing are looking at higher interest rates and flexibility on the fixed terms with lenders to be able to pivot on prioritizing investments and spending. Business owners also shared their gratitude for the improved ability of small businesses to contract with the State, and hopes for improvements with local and federal governments.

This article was released by the Office of Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris.