Companies are under strong pressure to speak up on various political issues at the local, state and national levels. Whether it’s a wave that could seek more business response to police actions in the city, Disney in Florida, or a bomb leak related to the overthrow of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court proceedings. Today is the time when business leaders are expected to stand up or face the potential negative consequences of staying silent.
The Democratic Party may not have as influential voice as Stacey Abrams, the current candidate for the Georgia Governor’s election. But Abrams says it’s a mistake to assume that companies should speak up on all political issues.
“The value of performance doesn’t mean anything to me,” Abrams said Thursday at CNBC’s Small Business Playbook Virtual Event. “It shouldn’t carry value because people want to see it from you.”
Abrams is the owner of a small business and at a CNBC event she revealed that she was a “capitalist.”
“We want to make money,” she said.
But it’s important to remember that Abrams, especially for small businesses, “we enter the world as citizens and don’t divorce from who we are when we open the door.”
This also means accepting customers to come on their own as they pass through the door, and the decision to speak about politics is a decision to show those customers your complete self.
“We must be really selective about how to impose our belief system,” Abrams said. “But there are some very basic things about who we are, and so are we,” she added.
She says that for 1.1 million small business owners in her home state of Georgia, choosing a place to confront political issues is willing to lose business, even if it gains another form of value. Said.
Companies had to stand up in every major move in the country’s history, from civil rights to women’s rights to LGBTQ rights. However, the answer does not necessarily have to be a reflexive “yes” and should not be based on dollar and cent-only accounting.
“The decision should be because you can’t meet your own moral compass and you can’t respect your own moral core,” Abrams said.
Her co-founder, Lara Hodgson, is politically conservative, the person Abrams co-authored the recent book “Level Up,” and some companies have a purpose as part of their DNA. Said it was created. Their latest venture, Now, provides small business owners with paid invoice payment solutions and serves a wide range of clients, employees and investors. And Hodgson and Abrams need to make sure they are loyal to the foundation of their business. It’s about helping small business owners face cash flow challenges.
As Hodgson explained his efforts to create a better lineup of spill-resistant drinks for kids, as after the failure to create the next “global beverage giant” under the brand Nourish. It’s important to remember when your business pivots. Pivots represent the basic position in which new opportunities are sought, rather than a complete change in direction. For Abrams and Hodgson, its pivot DNA may contain certain beliefs, but from a market opportunity perspective, it has led to small business funding issues. “Don’t go out and use your business to talk about other things,” Hodgson said. “We are very focused on leveling the competition for SMEs.”
The two are often disagreeable and have different strengths and weaknesses. Many entrepreneurs (and legislators) don’t understand Abrams, who was honored for running one of the most successful voter registration drives in modern history and providing Democrats with major Georgia races. It’s great in number.
“We are very different. We are not best friends,” Abrams said. “This is incredibly honest and gives us space every minute of the day that we are not in each other’s lives. You wake up to work and talk to the same person. If you sleep, it will cloud your mind and echo chamber. ”
Hodgson said he would work on the topic with curiosity first and criticism second if there was disagreement.
“When one of us shares our views, we ask ourselves what we are interested in and what we can learn from, rather than jumping into judgment,” she said.
And in disagreements, firmly sharing ideas for impacts and consequences goes beyond certain points of friction. “99.9% of the goal, we agree with the result and the way we get there is very different, but as long as the focus is on the result and the impact, the different approaches are incredibly positive,” Hodgson said. rice field.