Small business owners from The Glass Jar, Allterra Solar and Santa Cruz Green Builders will be among 100 leading small employers attending this year’s Small Business Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. from May 11-13, 2015.

The Summit, hosted by small business advocacy organization Small Business Majority, will provide a unique opportunity for small business leaders to interact with key policymakers, including SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), senior members of the Obama Administration and issue experts to identify policy recommendations to help move the needle on important small business issues.

With its theme “Shaping the Future of the American Economy,” the Summit will feature panel discussions, keynote speeches, interactive workshops and presentations by industry experts and successful entrepreneurs.

A private evening reception hosted by Google at its Washington, D.C. headquarters will feature presentations of the “2015 Small Business Awards.” The Summit concludes with a half-day visit to the White House during which small business owners will have an opportunity to engage directly with senior members of the Obama Administration. The day will be capped off with a technology training program at Google.

Santa Cruz Business Owners

“It is important to have voices from Santa Cruz heard in Washington because we have so many small businesses and no paid lobbyists to speak for us,” said Taylor Darling, Co-Founder of Santa Cruz Green Builders. “Big corporations have incredible influence in policy making, but it is rare to have an opportunity as a small business to influence policies that can help small businesses. We are a green building company so I will try to make a plug for policies that support energy efficiency if I get the chance.”

Allterra Solar CEO, James Allen, will be in attendance. He has seen Allterra triple in size over the last two years. Here is what he had to say:

“I want DC to understand that supporting solar programs is an effective way to prevent pollution and create jobs,” said Allen. “I’m excited to talk with other business owners and share Allterra’s story with policy makers.”

Zachary Davis, co-founder of The Glass Jar, which includes The Penny Ice Creamery, Assembly and The Picnic Basket, will be travelling to DC for the third time as part of the Small Business Majority’s Small Business Council.

“In my past visits I have seen that voicing our needs and concerns directly to policymakers and other experts really does make a difference in getting Washington to pay attention to the small business community,” said Davis. “I deeply appreciate the tireless work Small Business Majority does to advocate on of hardworking entrepreneurs and innovators. Bringing together a diverse group of business owners from across the country is just one example of that work.”

Shaping the Future

With its theme “Shaping the Future of the American Economy,” the Summit will feature panel discussions, keynote speeches, interactive workshops and presentations by industry experts and successful entrepreneurs. A private evening reception hosted by Google at its Washington, D.C. headquarters will feature presentations of the “2015 Small Business Awards.” The Summit concludes with a half-day visit to the White House during which small business owners will have an opportunity to engage directly with senior members of the Obama Administration. The day will be capped off with a technology training program at Google.

The summit will focus on topline issues of importance to small business, including but not limited to:

  • Access to capital and how to ensure small businesses obtain capital necessary to grow and strengthen their firms in a responsible and sustainable manner
  • Tax policy to spur small business/economic growth while leveling the playing field and ensuring fairness
  • Critical workforce issues impacting small businesses today such as healthcare, minimum wage family medical leave and retirement savings
  • Technology and how small businesses can adopt and learn new solutions to old challenges
  • The impact of freelancers on the economy and how the U.S. can update policies that address the needs of this new workforce

“This Summit will allow small business owners to engage directly with policymakers in D.C. to discuss the issues shaping our economy and identify pragmatic policy recommendations to help them thrive,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “We’ll hear from real entrepreneurs—from all walks of life and all areas of the country—about the issues affecting their business and their bottom lines, and work with policymakers to advance legislation that will bolster small business and remove their barriers to success.”

Following the Summit, policy recommendations identified will be incorporated into Small Business Majority’s policy platform—the Small Business Economic Agenda for 2015-16—and will be shared with decision makers to elevate issues of importance to small business owners.


 

About The Glass Jar, Inc.

The Glass Jar is a Santa Cruz based farm to table restaurant group founded in 2009 by Kendra Baker and Zachary Davis and dedicated to the nexus between sustainable food and community. Current businesses include The Penny Ice Creamery, The Picnic Basket, Assembly and POPUP.

About Allterra Solar

Founded in 2004 by brothers James and Nathaniel Allen, Allterra Solar is a Santa Cruz based design and build firm that specializes in renewable energy systems and sustainability.

About Santa Cruz Green Builders

Santa Cruz Green Builders is a building company that specializes in residential and commercial green building. We are dedicated to the goal of creating a sustainable community by designing and building healthy, energy efficient, environmentally sound, and long lasting homes and work places. Santa Cruz