Local leader to advocate for small businesses in DC

This story was originally published by the San Antonio Business Journal and can be found here

Dr. Erika Gonzalez, chairwoman of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was chosen as one of four national co-chairs for the Small Business for America’s Future coalition.

The organization, based in Washington, D.C., consists of small business owners and leaders who advocate for policies that facilitate small business growth, while leveling the playing field with big business. The organization asks policymakers to prioritize Main Street businesses by advancing an economic framework and Covid-19 recovery plan for small businesses and their employees.

Small Business for America’s Future surveyed more than 1,200 small business owners nationally. Of those surveyed, 84% said they felt leaders favor big business over small business, and 81% of respondents said leaders do not understand the needs of small business.

The survey also found that 53% of respondents have incurred new debt related to Covid-19, with nearly 25% of them having new debt of more than $20,000, and 18% with debt over $100,000.

The organization is an evolution of the former organization called Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform, which launched in 2017 as an advocate for small businesses during tax reform. It will now focus on three areas of policy reform: health insurance, taxes and economic security.

“We’re committed to ensuring policymakers at every level of government prioritize Main Street by advancing an economic framework that benefits both small businesses and our employees,” Gonzalez said. “Reducing the crushing cost of providing health insurance will be important to ensuring small businesses are strong enough financially while maintaining coverage for employees.”

The other three co-chairs of the organization include Frank Knapp, president and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce; Anne Zimmerman, owner of Zimmerman and Co. CPAs in Ohio; and Shaundell Newsome, owner of Sumnu Marketing and board chairman for the Urban Chamber of Commerce Las Vegas.

The group had been co-chairs for Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform, but wanted to be more geographically and racially diverse, specifically looking to add a Latina as a co-chair, said Gonzalez, who is CEO of the South Texas Allergy and Asthma Medical Professionals PLLC.

The organization reached out to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which recommended Gonzalez.

“It lets me represent the Latino businesses nationally,” Gonzalez said.

Her Spanish speaking abilities has already enabled her to communicate the organization’s message to bilingual audiences across the nation.

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