ASBA Hosts White House Business Council Roundtable with Arizona Businesses
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Posted by: David Drennon, VP, Marketing+Business Development
ASBA HOSTS WHITE HOUSE BUSINESS COUNCIL
ROUNDTABLE WITH ARIZONA BUSINESS
Series of Discussions Planned Statewide
(Phoenix, May 25, 2011) – Identifying opportunities to grow the economy, put Americans back to work, and compete and win in the global marketplace is the focus behind a series of roundtables with business leaders assembled by the Arizona Small Business Association partnering with the White House Business Council. More than twenty business leaders participated in the first discussion on Thursday, May 19, sharing ideas and concerns that impact the overall business operating environment. Four primary topics emerged from the 90 minute forum: access to capital, regulatory hurdles, healthcare reform, and workforce development.
In introducing the "Winning the Future” roundtable, Bureau of Land Management Deputy Director Marcilynn Burke highlighted that small businesses create more than half of the jobs in the United States, and innovation is driven from these small businesses.
"Through these conversations with Arizona business owners, we can identify opportunities to streamline processes and help our entrepreneurs get to the resources that will help them make money and create jobs,” said Donna Davis, Chief Executive Officer of ASBA. "Turning to the innovative minds of small business will help us find solutions to advance business in Arizona and the jobs necessary to support our communities.”
Roundtable participants were mixed on the economic climate, however all agreed continued recovery demands better, easier access to government resources, noting special focus on programs and lending for micro-businesses (fewer than 50 employees).
"Paperwork and regulations are onerous for micro-businesses,” said Wendy L Jameson, MA, CEO of Colnatec, a Gilbert company developing thin film technologies. "Make it easier for us to do business, so we can focus on sales, not paperwork. We're the ones inventing and innovating; help us get off the ground by making it less difficult.”
"We don’t always show the return on investment as quickly as bankers would like, however, high tech companies are what will keep this country a world leader in technology,” said Mary Darling, CEO and Principal of Darling Environmental and Surveying, in Tucson. "Small businesses are the heart of America; it is wonderful to see the White House and ASBA involved in such a positive way.”
"Our state has seen dramatic drops in one of the leading economic indicators (construction), but has ‘stayed the course’ with up-and-coming industries such as solar power generation and "green” building,” said Zary South, COO of Asset Technology, with offices in Phoenix and Tucson. "Arizona is on a slow upswing, and sharing our concerns and successes with the White House is an important step to ensure our collective voices get heard.”
ASBA is planning additional business roundtables and community discussions around the state to listen and provide feedback from more Arizona small business owners. Entrepreneurs interested in learning more should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASBA offers members a variety of resources to assist their small businesses rebound and emerge stronger from the recent downturn. Learn more about ASBA member benefits at www.asba.com or by calling the ASBA Phoenix or Tucson offices at 602.306.4000 or 520.327.0222.
About ASBA – The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) is a dynamic, growing community dedicated to entrepreneurial development and business advancement. With a reach to more than 300,000 employees at nearly 5,000 member businesses, ASBA provides services at every stage of business growth. Offering resources to fulfill critical business needs, ASBA members enjoy access to the only state guaranteed-acceptance group health plan, human resource solutions and group buying power. ASBA’s Entrepreneurial Accelerator provides professional leadership mentoring coupled with on-demand access to business training. With 41% growth during the recent economic downturn, ASBA is Arizona’s leading, most experienced trade association. For more information, please visit Join ASBA. Be amAZed®