An Axios roundtable on business recovery and resilience
On Wednesday May 4, the editor-in-chief of Axios Nicholas johnston and Business Reporter Hope King hosted a roundtable of community leaders and small business owners in Los Angeles to discuss how small businesses have adapted to the COVID-19 economy, the importance of cross-sector partnerships and the way forward recovery.
The conversation included the CEO and President of Wells Fargo, Charlie scharf, and Head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy, Jenny Flores, who started the conversation by discussing what is being done to stimulate the economic recovery of small businesses after the pandemic and strategies to tackle inequality in Los Angeles.
- Lisa Mensah, CEO, Opportunity Finance Network, on lessons from past crises and preparing for the future: “Muscle memory takes money. That’s the other thing we’ve learned… we have to be ready for the next thing. That’s why these injections of real equity into the balance sheet, the small lenders really matter. “
- Maria Salinas, President and CEO, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, on the responsibility of networks like chambers of commerce: “It’s our wheelhouse, it’s making sure that we understand what policy makers are grappling with and that we have a link back to the community … I think it’s a responsibility that an organization like the Los Angeles Chamber must advocate for small business.
- Rudy Espinoza, Executive Director, Inclusive Action for the City, on targeting support for minority-owned businesses: “One part is about resources. The other part is … making sure we provide loan products that help businesses that are owned by BIPOC entrepreneurs, because right now we are seeing a lot of financial institutions. that are still not serving our communities. And we cannot let that happen if we want a fair recovery. “
- Xiomara Peña, Vice President of Engagement, Small Business Majority, on a nuanced approach to meeting the needs of small businesses: “Not all small businesses work the same. One of the biggest challenges in … was financial preparation. Financial preparation can include everything from accounting to record keeping. These are just a few. factors we still consider and how to approach them as we think about reconstruction and the future. ”
- Roberto Martinez, Entrepreneur in Residence, City of LA, on the post-pandemic future of small business and the need for technical training and capital: “We have an opportunity for post-pandemic resilience, to build fundamental capacities to bridge the digital divide. Small and medium-sized businesses have not had access, have not been given the tools to provide the skills and growth they need to be sustainable and resilient after the pandemic. “
Thank you Wells Fargo for sponsoring this event.