Sinema seeks to bolster Arizona’s economy by empowering small businesses

Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema last week hosted a roundtable featuring women business leaders from across the state. The meeting, organized in conjunction with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau, focused on the critical role women and minority-owned businesses play in bolstering and diversifying Arizona’s economy. 

During the roundtable, Sinema discussed a host of issues facing Arizona’s small business community. Ths senator heard from the group about their needs and how to better share resources scaling their businesses through incentives such as tax credits, grants, loans, and workforce development programs for small businesses.Sinema expressed her commitment to continue advancing pro-growth policies that ensure small businesses have the resources and support needed to compete and thrive.

“Many small businesses have the ambition, but lack the technical acumen or support to tackle large-scale projects,” Sinema observed, outlining her strategy to address this deficit systematically, thereby instilling resilience within the Arizona small business community.

Arizona has already carved a reputation for itself within the startup scene, consistently punching above its weight class, with minority-owned businesses being the most rapidly expanding sector. Sinema’s goal, she reiterated to the group, is to amplify their visibility on the national stage.

“Arizona embodies more diversity than many states,” Sinema said. “Our focus must be on positioning these businesses in front of the right audiences.”

But economic diversification is just one piece of the puzzle. Sinema acknowledged the elephant in the room – the escalating water crisis. Having secured $4 billion in funding for water security in the Southwest, she stressed the significance of infrastructure in supporting small businesses and its vital role in the region’s survival. Sinema expressed faith in Arizona’s potential to pioneer strategic and effective utilization of these resources.

Emphasizing sustainability and inclusivity, she highlighted successful businesses that have thrived due to these initiatives, such as Jackrabbit Homes’ sustainable design for clean energy and clean water, and the expansion of veteran-owned and native-owned businesses.

Despite significant strides, a gap remains in the median annual revenue between minority-owned small businesses and their counterparts. Addressing this unrealized potential is critical for a prosperous future for the state, Sinema stressed.

“Minority-owned businesses grow at triple to quadruple the rate of other businesses,” she noted, stressing the need to support and uplift this vital sector of the economy. The issue of childcare accessibility for young female entrepreneurs and access to business loans were also tackled during the roundtable.

Michael Kittilson

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