ASBC DRAWS MORE THAN 700 REGISTRANTS FOR TWO ONLINE MEETINGS TO ENERGIZE BUSINESS ACTION TO CONFRONT RACISM
ASBC has long advocated for policies that move us toward a more just, inclusive, equitable and sustainable economy and society, but the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police has sparked new outrage, leading to renewed energy toward those goals. Shortly after the Floyd murder, ASBC issued a new call to confront racism and followed that up on June 9 with a virtual town hall that drew well over 300 registrants to discuss what business leaders and the business community could do collectively to renew the battle against systemic racism. Two weeks later, more than 400 people registered to participate as ASBC relaunched our diversity and inclusion group which has been renamed the Race and Equity Working Group (REWG). In addition to our continuing High Road efforts, ASBC has recently added support for the Saving our Streets Act to target federal COVID-19 economic relief to businesses owned and serving communities of color and two policing reform bills, HR 7085, to end qualified immunity for public officials, and HR 7120, the comprehensive George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
As small business owners and their employees across the country continue to struggle with COVID-19 recovery, the need for flexibility and certainty is greater than ever. ASBC endorsed the Rebuilding Main Street Act, which would allow employers to share payroll costs with the federal government and receive grants to help cover other fixed costs for safe reopening. ASBC is requesting that in the next COVID relief package, Congress pass this bill and also include more support for struggling small farmers. Add your voice here.
ASBC Supports the National Infrastructure Bank Act
The National Infrastructure Bank Act (HR 6422) establishes a national, self-sustaining bank that will allow states to repair our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Remaining fiscally neutral, the act provides funding for every state to streamline desperately needed infrastructure projects while creating 25 million new, high-paying jobs with adequate training. It’s a critical step in restoring jobs devastated by the pandemic, reducing income inequality, and greenlighting projects ranging from transportation, to reusable energy, to SMART Cities infrastructure. Over the past several weeks, we have been informing & organizing our members to garner support for the bill. Expect more to come.
WORKING GROUP UPDATES
Creating an Economic System that Works for All
The Creating an Economic System that Works for All Working Group held its fourth session earlier in June. The objective of the meeting was to continue shaping, identifying and developing the 10 most important business-related public policy initiatives required to create an economy that works for all (these public policies will be presented to the Platform Committee of the Democratic and Republican Parties when they meet later this summer). Particular attention was placed on business governance; access to capital; tax equity, inequality, investment & disclosure; worker wellbeing; government, money & politics; and environment.
The Sustainable Packaging Working Group welcomed two new members in June, Sasha Calder with Beauty Counter and Julia Cohen, one of the founders of the Plastic Pollution Coalition. The group also continued working on an op-ed regarding the need for the corona virus pandemic to launch greater efforts toward increased resiliency rather than allow it to exploited by playing on fear to delay or reverse progress on efforts to protect our planet and move toward a circular economy. A subcommittee also met to develop plans for a webinar promoting the principles the group developed to evaluate packaging legislation and regulation.
Climate & Energy
The Climate & Energy Working Group recently met and had a very engaging discussion. Some of the highlights of the working group meeting included an Academic update by Professor Volker Sick, The Global C02 Initiative, The University of Michigan and open discussion on the impact of social injustice and climate change.
Welcome New Members
Closed Loop Partners(Gold Level) Closed Loop Partners is a New York based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy.
SociaLab (Bronze Level) SociaLab was launched by Brad Michaels in 2000 from an incubator at Edinburgh University (UK). SociaLab first began working with financial and other companies taking on e-business strategies and social responsibility initiatives. SociaLab moved to Italy in 2003 to work with leading companies there (like FIAT) to benchmark best practices on social performance. SociaLab has been based in San Francisco since 2005, working with socially oriented start-ups, major companies, and enterprising non-profits.
We encourage all members to send stories, blogs, photos or videos you’d like us to include on our website or in our monthly newsletter and support from a social media perspective. ASBC is proud to support you all the way! Please send these to Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh.
Also, we’d appreciate and be grateful for all our members to display the “Proud Member of ASBC” logo on their website and relevant marketing materials. As always, we’re grateful for your support of ASBC – thank you!
► King Arthur Flour Check out this article in Bloomberg about how King Arthur Flour managed to drastically up its production and re-innovate the way it operates during #COVID19 when at-home baking has spiked nationwide.
Introducing ASBC's Policy Interns
Megan Birnbaum is a rising senior at Bowdoin College and is majoring in Environmental Studies and Psychology. She is from San Diego, California, has been involved with the youth Sunrise Movement for a Green New Deal and is passionate about policy reform as a path to a more sustainable future. Megan is committed to improving both environmental and social sustainability in any way possible through her internship with ASBC.
Michael Blakeslee is a senior at the University of Michigan majoring in economics and minoring in business administration with a passion for working at the intersection of sustainability and economic mobility. He is motivated by his past roles working with a carbon capture & utilization late stage startup as well as a poverty-oriented think tank. At ASBC, he hopes to gain a better understanding of the business and financial factors that inspire organizations to take on bold corporate social responsibility and sustainability initiatives.
Melissa Kelley is a rising sophomore at the University of Notre Dame studying finance, economics, and sustainability. She is originally from the Chicago suburbs, but her family is a big fan of the Washington Capitals. At Notre Dame, Melissa is involved in various business organizations, interhall lacrosse, and the campus sustainability club. She says she is “excited to help make an impact this summer with ASBC!"
OPEN HIRING 101 Webinar | July 14, 3 - 4 PM ET An overview on creating a more inclusive economy through Greyston Bakery's (an ASBC member) Open Hiring model. Learn how resources can be better spent investing in employees rather than screening them out. Open Hiring - no resumes, no background checks, no interviews - removes unnecessary barriers to employment and provides marginalized populations with real opportunities to prosper.
Addressing America's Monopoly Crisis: Revitalizing Antitrust to Support Small Business and Fair Competition Webinar | July 23, 1 - 2 PM ET Please join us for a briefing with Matt Stoller, Director of Research at the American Economic Liberties Project and author of Simon and Schuster's Goliath: The hundred Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy as we discuss the role of monopoly power in the ongoing global pandemic and its direct impact on the small business sector. The recent announcement of mounting antitrust scrutiny against Amazon, Facebook, and Google underscores the importance of understanding corporate power and the need to empower small businesses in America to fight back against economic concentration.
Worker Co-op Conference Philadelphia, PA | September 11 – 13 The Worker Co-op Conference is the only national convening dedicated to worker ownership and workplace democracy. Coming together will be worker-owners, cooperative developers, policymakers, funders, and other allies, to make space for connection, education, skill-building, and sharing to improve the lives of workers and their families.
The Responsible Business Summit New York 2020 Brooklyn, NY | September 21 – 22 The Summit New York 2020 will convene 750+ leaders from across the globe to share their latest strategies, and more importantly, tangible insights into how they are helping deliver the required transformation of business. Jeffrey Hollender will moderate the session: Case study: Restoration of the Natural Capital.