Paid leave has been a hot topic lately, with several new initiatives and laws in the works around the country and in the D.C. region. Maryland’s Montgomery County recently approved a law allowing employees to accrue a limited number of paid sick days, and D.C. is weighing a law that would provide up to 16 weeks of family leave. Some critics are arguing that paid leave laws are bad for small businesses – but the reality is that many small business owners believe paid leave policies help them attract and retain talented employees, which is good for their bottom line.
Saturday, November 28 marked Small Business Saturday – an important time to shop locally and support our nation’s small businesses during the holiday shopping season. In recognition of Small Business Saturday, many small businesses offered discounts and specials to encourage people to shop small. Total spending at small businesses on Small Business Saturday reached an impressive $16.2 billion, up from $14.3 billion in 2014.
While working towards an engineering degree in college, Matthew Hollis quickly realized his real interest wasn’t in memorizing equations or the laws of thermodynamics, but rather in entrepreneurship and how to turn problem solving into a business. He connected with Alan Dillman, who ran a business incubator on Hollis’ college campus. The two quickly realized there was room for innovation and sustainability in the waste collection business, which inspired them to launch Elytus, a waste management company based in Columbus, Ohio.
For Adam Rochon, supplying benefits and insurance is a family business. Rochon followed his mother, Belinda Roberts, into the insurance and benefits industry and today they have a collective 28 years of insurance experience. After the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, businesses began to require a more in-depth broker relationship and a knowledgeable source of information for coverage. That’s when Rochon and Roberts decided to launch their own agency, Sequoia Employee Benefits & Insurance Solutions, better known as Sequoia Solutions.
Access to capital is a major challenge for small business owners. Without adequate funding or access to reasonable loans, small businesses can’t grow and thrive – or even get off the ground in many cases. To help ensure entrepreneurs secure the funding they need to be successful, Small Business Majority has partnered with the VEDC in Los Angeles County to launch a new program providing access to capital education to small business owners.
Missy Williams spent the first 20 years of her career in the mental health field as a direct care provider, program manager, counselor and executive manager. As a mental health provider, she learned how stressful it could be to take care of patients and run a successful business – and she wanted to share her experiences with others in her field to help them tackle these problems. A few years after obtaining her M.A.
Alysis Vasquez is passionate about good food – there’s no doubt about that. But just as important to her is that people have a unique experience when eating out. As a chef in New York and New Jersey, she worked for well-known food names like Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Dale Talde. While she loved her work, she found that fine dining could sometimes feel cold and uninviting.