Small business owners La. discuss impact, strategies after attending Goldman Sachs summit

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 Business Summit.

Leaders say it was the largest-ever gathering of small business owners in U.S. history. The goal was to give people a chance to learn, grow and advocate for their needs.

“It was really an opportunity to get an education, to really learn from others who have grown and expanded their businesses, to hear some of the challenges and solutions they’ve had, and also to advocate for their businesses. little ones,” said Lakeisha Robichaux.

Robichaux is the founder and CEO of Chief of Minds in Baton Rouge. She says she had a chance to sit down with lawmakers to talk about the challenges they face and the solutions they’d like to see happen.

“One of the things was capital. As small business owners, we have to compete with larger corporations. So having access to capital to pay higher competitive wages, to be able to offer benefits, so that small businesses can compete with that,” Robichaux said.

According to Goldman Sachs Vice President Amy Betzen, this is 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 provide competitive benefits and be able to compete with the Amazons of the world and provide their employees with the benefits that they want,” Betzen. said.

Robichaux says she wants lawmakers to create a program that can help small businesses retain staff and offer competitive wages.

“Some kind of benefits program that will help small businesses be able to attract and negotiate a good benefits package so that retention can happen,” Robichaux said.

Despite the challenges, Robichaux says there is plenty of optimism moving forward.

“We will need solutions and we will need support. That’s why we need to continue to advocate for small businesses to get the funding we need and get the backup we need. As long as we have that, then I see the future looking positive, but making some changes and good partnerships will help,” said Robichaux.

Some of the other people in attendance include President George W. Bush, Warren Buffet and NBA star Chris Paul.

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