RELEASE: Assembly Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Membership Announced

Dedicated to Helping Small Businesses Survive and Thrive

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO — Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris has been appointed the new chair of the Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship by California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. This Committee is dedicated to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, helping them to innovate, growing the state’s economy and generating jobs in California.

As more small business assistance is rolled out, it will be critical to engage regional business organizations and economic development partners to ensure that the Committee implements effective, equitable solutions. As the Chair, Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris plans to hold regional hearings to meet the need for immediate relief and to identify barriers or outdated requirements that no longer fit the needs of a 21st century economy.

“Small businesses are the backbone of California’s economy and the heart and soul of our communities,” said Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “As the Chair of this Committee, I am focused on supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs and their employees so they can not only survive in the short-term through this pandemic-induced recession but thrive long-term.”

The Select Committee will focus on building solutions to the myriad obstacles facing California’s more than 4 million small businesses. Pandemic-induced mass closures among small businesses will have devastating long-term impacts on California’s economy and job market unless we act quickly. Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris will continue the past work of this Select Committee, highlighting best practices and incentives used at the local level and in other states to foster growth and entrepreneurship.

The Legislature recently passed a $9.6BB economic recovery package, including immediate actions to substantially increase aid for California small businesses & nonprofits who have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget agreement reflects a four-fold increase – from $500 million to more than $2 billion – for grants up to $25,000 for small businesses impacted by the pandemic, and also allocates $50 million for cultural institutions.

The following Assemblymembers have been appointed to the Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship: Budget Sub 4 Chair Wendy Carrillo; Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Chair Sabrina Cervantes; Jordan Cunningham; Megan Dahle; Transportation Chair Laura Friedman; Mike Gipson; Appropriations Chair Lorena Gonzalez; Business and Professions Chair Evan Low; James Ramos and Buffy Wicks.
 
"COVID-19 has impacted small businesses in unprecedented ways, yet they remain the backbone of our state’s economy. Small businesses shape the character of our neighborhoods, sustain the culture of our communities, and their diversity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit, are what create opportunities for Californians to thrive and achieve the American Dream,” said Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles). “The legislature has worked with the Governor to deliver increased aid to small businesses, issue license renewal fee waivers, ease tax burdens for start-ups, and leverage tax credits to create full-time jobs, protect workers, and keep businesses secure and afloat. Our charge is to ensure the public’s health amid COVID-19 recovery efforts that are robust and equitable,” she added.  
 
“California small businesses and their employees are among the hardest hit in the COVID-19 pandemic. Research shows that between January 2020 and January of 2021, private employment in California fell by 1.6 million jobs. Addressing the needs of California’s small businesses and their workers is crucial to the state’s economic recovery.  I look forward to working with Chair Petrie-Norris, and the rest of my colleagues on the committee, to ensure that small businesses in all parts of our state have access to the resources and support they need to respond to the challenges they face,” said Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona).
 
“Small businesses are the heart of the Central Coast economy, but have borne the brunt of this past year’s shutdowns,” said Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo). “The Legislature must do a better job of prioritizing small business relief within its wider COVID-19 recovery efforts. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this select committee to ensure that the voices of small businesses are being heard and acted upon.”

“As a small business owner, I am excited to participate on the Assembly Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship,” said Assemblywoman Megan Dahle (R-Bieber). “The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on our small business community and it is imperative the Legislature prioritizes streamlining regulation and providing assistance to help our economy reopen. Small businesses are the backbone of California’s economy and employment sector, and they need our support now more than ever.” 
 
“The success or failure of small businesses directly impacts the lives of those who depend on them, especially in our communities of color,” said Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson). “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought an overwhelming burden and financial stress to our small businesses. We must make bold decisions to ensure that we not only have economic recovery but also economic justice. I look forward to joining my colleagues on the Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship to provide relief to those that need it the most.”

“California’s 4.1 small businesses fuel California’s global economy, and about half are minority-owned businesses,” said Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland). “I am excited to join my colleagues on this special select committee to support small businesses recover and rebound from the pandemic and do what they do best – create jobs and support our communities. I thank Speaker Rendon and Chairperson Petrie-Norris for the appointment to the Select Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.”
 
“California’s small businesses have weathered the impacts of the pandemic in extraordinary ways, and it’s incumbent upon the state legislature – and all levels of government – to prioritize support for their recovery,” said Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland). “I’m thrilled to join my colleagues on the Select Committee for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and to seize this critical moment to help our small businesses rebuild, recover, and thrive.”