Courage, perseverance, resiliency, and fiscal prudence…these are a just a few of the attributes we see in successful entrepreneurs every day. Their passionate desire to bring their ideas to life, to provide for their families, and to build thriving communities makes small business owners the lifeblood of the American economy. This is also what inspires us to start our businesses.
Like so many entrepreneurs across this country, I had to become my own CEO – Chief Everything Officer – decrypting confusing permitting processes, mastering expensive health care packages for employees, and competing against "the big guys" for clients. As small business owners we require confidence, and certainty that our government leaders have our backs. We want them to cut red tape—eliminating burdensome government requirements and streamlining complex processes.
For a more robust economy, the small business community deserves to have capital unlocked on a more equitable basis, correcting the gross inequity of 78 percent of venture capital being concentrated in three states; sadly, only six percent is going to women and one percent to African-Americans and Latino-Americans each.
We need a level playing field with a fair and simple tax code. We must have access to new markets, including our fair share of the federal marketplace, corporate supply chain and international commerce. Thankfully, there is a candidate running for president who understands these priorities and has made it abundantly clear that she will be the "small business president."
As an entrepreneur and first-generation American, my love of country runs deep. This love has been driving my long-standing desire to give back to our nation that has provided so much for so many. While running my first business, an unexpected opportunity presented itself to serve my state.
I had the honor of being appointed to serve in California's state cabinet as the Secretary of Business, Transportation, and Housing, becoming the first Latina to serve at the cabinet level. After leaving office, I saw the need to start a bank serving small- and medium-sized businesses, becoming the founding chairwoman of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles. I became a small businesswoman whose small business served small businesses every day.