Owens Attends Roundtable with Small Businesses on the “Road to Recovery”

Local Small Businesses Owners Express Optimism about Economic Recovery at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices “Road to Recovery” Series, But Cite Many Challenges Ahead

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Last week, U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens (UT-04) toured Salt Lake City Culinary Education and attended a roundtable discussion with local small business owners to discuss the challenges facing small businesses on the road to recovery,

including labor shortages, inflation, access to capital, supply chain and workforce issues, and the ongoing issues caused by COVID-19 and new challenges posed by the rise of the Delta variant.

The attending Utah small business owners — Diane Sheya of Salt Lake Culinary Education, Tim McConnehey of Izzard Ink, Alexandra Ortiz of Shades Brewing, Ryan Gwilliams of Train Walk Poop, Nicol Razon of Utah House Cleaning, and Natalie Parkin of Skinworks School & Spa of Advanced Skincare — are graduates of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program delivered in partnership with Salt Lake Community College.

“Utahns know that small business is the heart and soul of our state. As the Fourth District heads back to work, my top priority is to ensure that our economy continues to recover and flourish following the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Voices initiative for their partnership as we work to streamline the road to recovery,” said Rep. Burgess Owens.

A recent national survey from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices showed that while small businesses are on the road to recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, they are still facing major roadblocks including rising operating costs, access to capital and labor shortages. The survey found that of the 71 percent of small businesses currently hiring, 81 percent are finding it difficult to recruit qualified candidates. At the same time, 83 percent of small business owners report an increase in operating costs in the past few months, and 82 percent are concerned about the impact of inflation on their businesses. As a result, almost half of small businesses (48 percent) have had to increase their prices. Locally, Utah’s small business owners continue to face significant challenges.

“South Salt Lake businesses like mine are welcoming customers again, and these signs of recovery are heartening, but many obstacles remain on the road ahead. Operation costs are higher than they were prior to the pandemic, the recruitment of workers remains a significant barrier, and the rise of the Delta variant has continued to pose challenges,” said Diane Sheya of Salt Lake Culinary Education. “Despite these challenges, we’re grateful to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices program for providing strategic guidance during this tumultuous time and welcome the opportunity to explore the options available to small businesses.”

“Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices is committed to helping Utah small business owners advocate for policy changes that will help their businesses. As small businesses continue on their road to recovery, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices is proud to help advocate for small business priorities,” said Jill McCarthy, West Coast Regional Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Voices. “America’s economic recovery is dependent on the strength of small businesses across the country, and we’re grateful that Congressman Burgess Owens joined us for this important conversation to hear the urgent needs of Utah’s small business community.”

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Voices “Road to Recovery” is a cross-country series of bipartisan events connecting elected officials with small business owners and giving participating elected officials (local, state, and federal) the opportunity to listen and learn from small business owners directly about the challenges they are facing coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. This visit is the first Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices “Road to Recovery” visits in the Beehive State. 

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