The California Chamber of Commerce has created a new center that will focus on mobilizing the power of small businesses in grassroots advocacy at the State Capitol.
“Our small businesses and the hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs they create are a critical element of California’s economy,” CalChamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera said yesterday. “It is more important than ever that our policy makers hear and fully understand the issues and costs our small business employers face in keeping their operations profitable and growing. CalChamber’s Small Business Policy Center will be a game changer in our advocacy efforts, amplifying the voice of small business leaders in the State Capitol as legislation is being deliberated.”
The CalChamber Small Business Policy Center is an addition to CalChamber’s continuing legacy of partnering with local chambers across the state to improve California’s business and jobs climate. In California, 55% of workers are employed in businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
Nick Ortiz, who joined the CalChamber in February 2023, will spearhead the center as vice president of small business advocacy.
“California needs to equip small businesses for success so our entire state economy can succeed,” Ortiz said. “I’m excited to be leading an effort that will give a larger platform and more seats at the table to our small business employers. Consistently providing lawmakers with input on the realities of doing business in our state and the impact that more regulation can have on the day-to-day workings and profitability of a small company will be a key focus of the CalChamber’s Small Business Policy Center. Our job is to be sure the lived experience of California’s small business owners is understood at the State Capitol.”
In addition to his new responsibilities with the center, Ortiz will continue to manage the Big City Chambers Coalition (BCCC) and direct several other aspects of CalChamber’s grassroots advocacy efforts.
Jennifer Johnson, who has been with CalChamber for 13 years, serves in the role of Director of Local Chamber Relations, reporting to Ortiz.