Cicilline hears of small business challenges during visits to Wright’s Dairy

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – U.S. Rep. David Cicilline visited Wright’s Dairy Farm on Monday, Aug. 16 to discuss the challenges facing small businesses on the road to recovery, including labor shortages, supply chain issues, and new challenges posed by the rise of the Delta variant.

Cate Kennedy of Wright’s Dairy Farm is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program delivered in partnership with the Community College of Rhode Island.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Communities across our nation are stronger because small businesses create jobs and opportunities, especially here in Rhode Island,” said Cicilline. “I’m delighted for this opportunity to hear directly from Rhode Island small business owners about their road to recovery. Whether at home, here in Rhode Island, or in Washington, D.C., I’ll continue to advocate for public policies that prioritize small businesses.”

A recent national survey from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices showed that while small businesses are on the road to recovery, 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. Local Rhode Island small business owners continue to face significant challenges.

“Small businesses across Rhode Island are struggling with the challenges of the past two years. Rising operating costs and labor shortages – including competing for workers with big businesses that have had a different pandemic experience – remain a significant barrier, and small businesses are in need of more capital,” said Cate Kennedy of Wright’s Dairy Farm. “We need Congress to take bold action to save our small businesses, and I look forward to fighting for small business priorities alongside Congressman Cicilline and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices community.”

“Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices is committed to helping Rhode Island 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 Jane Moffat, Deputy National 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 David Cicilline joined us for these important tours and to hear the urgent needs of Rhode Island’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. Participating elected officials will have the opportunity to listen and learn from small business owners directly about the challenges they are facing coming out of the pandemic. These visits were the second and third Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Voices Road to Recovery visits in the Ocean State, following Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos’ roundtable with women small business owners in Newport last month. 

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