BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – More than 2,500 small business owners, including some from Louisiana, gathered in Washington, DC for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Summit.
Leaders say it’s the largest gathering of small business owners in US history. The goal is to provide opportunities for people to learn, grow, and promote their needs.
“It was really an opportunity to get an education, to really learn from others who have grown and improved their businesses, to hear some of the challenges and solutions they’ve had, and also advocate for small businesses. business,” said Lakeisha Robichaux.
Robichaux is the founder and CEO of Chief of Minds in Baton Rouge. He said he had the opportunity to sit down with lawmakers to discuss the challenges they face, and the solutions they want to see happen.
“One of the things is capital. As small business owners, we have to compete with large corporations. So there’s access to capital to pay higher competitive wages, to provide benefits, so small businesses can compete with that,” Robichaux said.
According to Goldman Sachs Vice President Amy Betzen, that’s the biggest fear facing small businesses across the country.
“It’s just their ability to attract and retain in this tight labor market, and their ability to offer competitive benefits and be able to compete with Amazon in the world, and really give their employees the benefits they want.” ,” Betzen said.
Robichaux said he wants lawmakers to create a program that helps small businesses retain staff and offer competitive wages.
“Some kind of benefits program that helps small businesses be able to attract and negotiate a nice benefits package so that sustainability can happen,” said Robichaux.
Despite the challenges, Robichaux said there is a lot of optimism going forward.
“We need solutions, and we need support. So we need to continue to promote small businesses to get the funding we need and get the backup we need. Until we have that, then I see that the future looks positive, but making some changes and good partnerships will help,” said Robichaux.
Some of the other people in attendance included President George W. Bush, Warren Buffet, and NBA star Chris Paul.
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