Congressman Kim Convenes Black Small Business Owners for Virtual Roundtable Discussion

July 17, 2020
Press Release

Congressman Kim Convenes Black Small Business Owners for
Virtual Roundtable Discussion

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03) was joined by Black small business owners from Burlington and Ocean Counties for a virtual roundtable discussion on issues facing Black-owned businesses and solutions to help empower Black entrepreneurs during the current crisis.

“For far too long, Black small business owners have been left in the dark and left behind when it comes to help starting or keeping their businesses afloat,” said Congressman Kim. “Those inequities are a hurdle in normal times, but they could mean the end of jobs and dreams for minority small businesses during this ongoing crisis. I want to thank the small business owners who joined me today for this incredibly illuminating conversation, and I look forward to working with them and all of our small business owners to provide the assistance needed for everyone to be able to keep their doors open during these tough times.”

Congressman Kim was joined by Black small business owners including Crystal Lewis and Barbara Bryant, I Say Yes Salon and Spa, Burlington; Nancy Miller, Taste of Soul Restaurant, Burlington City; Brian Cook, Heavenly Eats Catering, Brick; and Devon Russaw, Tui Beaute Beauty Supply, Eastampton.

Specific issues discussed on the call included lack of access to small business assistance programs including the Paycheck Protection Program, increasing public awareness of assistance programs, and increasing financial literacy programs for Black entrepreneurs. Business owners also expressed fears of being shut out of loan programs among the minority business community due to larger companies being prioritized.

“As minority-owned businesses we are resourceful,” said Brian Cook. “Having access to and knowledge of the assistance that is available is critical to being able to maintain our businesses. If it wasn't for word of mouth about these programs many of us wouldn't be able to survive.”

Recently, Congressman Kim joined peaceful demonstrations calling for justice for George Floyd, held a telephone town hall on issues impacting the Black community, a virtual forum on discrimination and bias, convened a conversation about policing reforms with local mayors and law enforcement officials, spoke at a forum on community policing, and met with Black community and youth leaders to hear their concerns and discuss solutions on police reform and other critical issues. In addition, Congressman Kim co-sponsored and voted to pass the Justice in Policing Act, bill that would make critical reforms to America’s law enforcement system.

Congressman Kim has also been a leader in ensuring small businesses get the help they need during the Coronavirus Crisis. The Congressman has ensured that small business owners’ concerns are heard through his April telephone town hall focused on their issues. He has been an outspoken proponent of transparency and accountability through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other federal efforts, helping to introduce the Protecting the Paycheck Protection Program Act and H.R. 7093, which requires the Small Business Administration to make public which businesses receive PPP assistance.

Congressman Kim is a member of the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, where he serves as one of twelve members of the House tasked with conducting oversight over programs aimed at ending the Coronavirus pandemic and helping address the economic impact it’s having on the American people. Congressman Kim is also a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Committee on Small Business. More information about Congressman Kim can be found on his website by clicking here