Last Friday, the Chamber’s program Elevate heard from key advocacy leaders:Jennifer Barrera, Executive , Vice President, California Chamber of Commerce, Donna Duperron, Chair, Business Federation of Los Angeles BizFed, Elise Swanson, Chair, South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce, and  Mark Waronek, Small Business Advocate Honoree. Together, they shared the importance of voicing concerns to legislative representatives and elected officials and underlined the significance of relationships in advocacy.

CalChamber, SBACC, and BizFed continue to seek to educate legislators, but also work to amplify the voice of the district businesses.  “There’s no question that the number of bills introduced every year attacking businesses continue to grow and grow – 2,500 this past February.” stated Barrera. “Your local voice is so important to the legislators. Top questions advocates at CalChamber get asked by the legislators and their staff are: How will it impact businesses in my district?; Are there any businesses, that are your members, that have concerns that reach out to us?; Is my local chamber on the coalition letter?” 

Barerra further encouraged, “If you don’t think your voice matters, I can guarantee you: it does. If you haven’t established a relationship with your local elected officials, they do want to hear from you. Even if you have never met them before, an email, a phone to their district office, saying “I’m a business in your district, and here’s why I have a concern on this issue…” they care about that. They really do pay attention to it.”

Program co chairs Connor Hartwell and Minal Mondkar offered comments on the program. “These organizations are such a great ally and resource. As a small business owner, I was personally benefited by CalChamber’s Employee Handbook. It’s a simple thing that any business uses, but for a small business without a large HR department – it is a wonderful resource for legal language and specified points,” Mondkar stated.  “I am so appreciative of these organizations for advocating for businesses,” expressed Hartwell.

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