What was Mindy Kaling doing with 3,000 other business owners ?
What a great, week!
What was all the fuss about this week with all of the small business owners throughout North America?
The Goldman and Sachs 10,000 small businesses voices held over 400 virtual meetings on capital hill. Business Owners from all 50 states gathered on calls with our elected officials to voice our concerns for small businesses throughout the United States. Thank you to Goldman and Sachs for all you do to support small businesses and help us get access like this.
I had the honor and privilege of being on a bunch of Congressional calls with several different senators, who listened to our concerns for the financial stability of our small businesses.
Guess who was chosen as one of only three business owners in the US to ask
"The Mindy Kaling" a question on a live call with 3,000 business owners?
Did you guess me? You are correct! 😂😂😂
It was awesome! It was so fun and such an honor and I am so grateful to 10KB for making this all happen! We got to ask her a question about business and her personal mission for advocacy in so many areas.
Hi, my name is Tracey Watts Cirino and I am the owner and founder of Beyond Common Coaching and Training Company and the founder of Lavish Color Salon. And we had all of these amazing calls with so many different policy makers asking about what we could do to influence policy makers.
Several topics that were discussed, including instead of looking at the child care situation as a woman's issue or a family issue, could we actually get policy makers to look at it as a "critical workforce issue."
Unfortunately, so many people have been thrown into situations that have not allowed them to fully enter back into the workforce or fully operate their businesses at full capacity, largely because of the the child care restrictions and other impacts from Covid. Today's discussions we're all about that.
Some of the other topics we covered included how small business owners could have access to capital and the uncertainty we face since we don't know when any of this is ending and when we can return to any type of business as usual environment?
Everything's being navigated moment to moment and day to day.
Without that being taken care of, there are so many businesses that just still are not able to operate at the capacity that they once did, pre Covid. This topic was a major focus of the questions and topics of discussion. Another major topic was about the PPP, or the Payroll Protection Program. It sounds like the second round of money has a lot less restrictions and is much more favorable in helping small business owners. It sounds like they want us to look at it like it is a grant.
If you are a small business owner, I strongly encourage you to apply for it. Definitely put in for it so that you can help keep your businesses afloat. I know myself about transitioning from having a brick and mortar location where we were operating a fully functioning salon and now we've transitioned to doing things online selling hair and beauty products. I've gone full force with my coaching and training company and I've been selling books to totally and completely pivot my business model. Like most small businesses, we have had to make major changes vey quickly.
Plus, I've been home because my kids are at home now so that is a huge challenge and a critical workforce issue that so many of us are trying to navigate.
Mindy Kaling was amazing, as usual. She explained how having confidence has been something that she always had because she always put the work in. That was an interesting take from a Hollywood person who has accomplished so much and learned so much. I appreciated that because no matter what success someone has achieved there is usually a lot of hard work put in somewhere and that is not always what we see on our Instagram highlight reels. So I found that really refreshing to hear from such a major Hollywood Star!
One thing I found funny was she said she's a bit of a control freak, which sounds like most of us business owners. Right? She was very relatable and being a bit of a control freak myself, I connected with her message and fully enjoyed her story.
Mindy said she's always either written or produced all of the shows she's been in because she didn't want to get fired. That was a way for her to control her destiny. She said she never wanted someone to have control over that. I thought that was really interesting and super smart. I don't think I would have noticed that if I was in her shoes. Another thing that we spoke about was how resilient children are, which is one of the biggest takeaways I have experienced from all of this. Our kids can handle anything. They're amazing! I mean, who would ever thought that little ones, preschool age, could sit in front of a screen all day and actually be fine with it? It's definitely not an ideal situation, but kids are so resilient and they bounce back so quickly and easily.
Another thing I felt we had in common with Mindy was she said that this whole thing made her realize how much she hates Paw Patrol. And I said, yeah, I've been there as most moms have. But even though it is true, they are doing God's work because they keep our kids entertained and occupied. So it's all good.
Oh and I absolutely love her show on Netflix Never Have I Ever! Have you seen it? It's so Funny!
The more important issues we talked about were when business owners are in this place of struggle and they do accept a loan. Is it going to negatively impact our tax burden? So many of us have been in a situation that, yeah, we need this kind of help, but we don't want it to look as if we earned this income because it's going to put us in a situation that is not helpful when it comes time to filing for our taxes. And so it seems there is a lot of new things that were written into the new policies that should help with that.
Also, it's going to be much easier for business owners to apply for the different funding and really allow more access to funds, more access to resources of all sorts. The first round of money is going to be directed at the community banks and into areas and locations that have lower income. These groups will have first access to the second round of PPP money to make sure that everybody gets a chance to access these dollars.
In addition, there are a lot fewer restrictions on how this money can be used. This will really be helpful to small business owners everywhere.
You're allowed to use it for more than just payroll, because a lot of other business expenses have skyrocketed due to Covid restrictions. And the consensus is that even businesses that have reopened are working at a smaller capacity for two reasons.
The restrictions have made it that they cannot hit the numbers that they once did, no matter what type of business they're in. So the restrictions are making the capacity to earn much less than the before. Their staff is not able to come back at full force, if at all. So there's less earning potential there as well. So we're dealing with a lot of challenges because our potential for earnings is shrinking massively, but the cost of doing business has gone up tremendously, and will continue to rise.
Even for really successful businesses that were doing amazing before Covid, it still becomes a critical issue. Is it worth it to you to string this along and go into more debt because you're unclear as to when it's ending? These are the hard questions we business owners have had to ask ourselves a lot this year?
There seems to be clarity that one issue impacting everyone is the need for across the board child care. Businesses were asking what the government and policymakers are going to do because of all of the different schools going remotely. This has affected Moms with kids greatly and some of the child care agencies that are funded by the government have not been able to serve as many children because their capacity is lower due to so many restrictions. Many have even been laying people off and having to let them go or reducing their hours.
This is like the chicken and the egg. People need access to lower cost childcare so that they can return to work, but the providers are not able to offer it because they're at capacity, and this just seems to be quite the struggle for so many people. That is why a lot of people we’re talking about this being a critical workforce issues on the calls.
It was such an honor to be able to represent small business and to bring up these critical questions and issues that so many business owners are facing.
So let me know your feedback. What questions do you have?
If I can answer any questions, or help you get in touch with the right people who you can reach out to help in anyway, please let me know.
You should definitely contact your local officials and let them know that you need help and what help you need. That's another thing. They want to know how you're doing, what's happening. So definitely reach out and stay active as you advocate for your business and other small businesses in your market and in your neighborhood.
We all need help right now and we can accomplish so much more by working together and supporting each other!
Thanks so much. I appreciate you! And let me know how I can help you!
Tracey Watts Cirino
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