We founded Business Forward eight years ago with a simple idea: Business can leaders fix Washington if we bring Washington to them. Since then, we’ve helped more than 100,000 local business leaders brief mayors, governors, Members of Congress, cabinet members, and senior White House staff. These local leaders have made the business case for free trade, clean energy, sensible tax reform, smarter immigration laws, infrastructure investment, paid leave, and affordable health care.
This past month, nearly 7,000 of them spoke out against President Trump’s rhetoric and actions on immigrants, refugees, Muslims and the Muslim Ban.
In anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Muslim Ban (Trump v. Hawaii) we asked some of them what upholding the ban could mean for their businesses.
Here’s a sample:
“It’s bad for business,” wrote Samuel Nixon, Jr., CEO and Founder of humble1, LLC, “in that it doesn’t recognize the value of persons, regardless of faith, in contributing to the economy in a number of ways.”
“It is imperative to promote inclusive business environments for a number of reasons,” wrote Denise Scotti-Smith of Mission Accomplished Consulting, LLC, an HR consulting firm based in Simpsonville, South Carolina. “In the tight labor market, we need to do all we can to obtain as wide a pool of skilled labor as we can. Even if there is only a travel ban, the perception and perpetuation of stereotypes will be felt in the workplace, whether or not the ban actually affects specific workplaces.”
Angela Gyetvan is Founder and President of Digital Whisper, a strategic consulting firm. “Data has shown time and again that diversity builds value,” she wrote. “We need diversity and immigration in order to remain economically prosperous.”
Susan Jaime of San Antonio, Texas is the Master Roaster at UniKo Specialty Coffee. “The inability to trade and communicate with other countries, regardless of their religious beliefs, is absurd and it puts us at a great disadvantage.”
Anna Redmond is the CEO of Hippo Reads, a company focused on bringing academic insights to real-world issues. “[These policies] hurt my bottom line. The days of business borders are behind us, and U.S. business benefits most when we can utilize resources from other countries and also sell to them. We have clients based in the U.S. who have offices in the Middle East. There are really great accelerator programs in the Middle East – some of them in “banned” countries. U.S. politics today puts me at a disadvantage to compete for both.”
Faiza Sultan is President and CEO of Translation4all, Inc in Placentia, California, and began her career after coming to the United States as a refugee 21 years ago. “Twenty-one years ago, this land gave me opportunity. I have reached my American Dream,” she wrote. “I am a proud American Muslim woman, a CEO of a company, a publisher, and a poet.” What’s more, she wrote, a policy of intolerance “is bad for us as Americans—we are contradicting our values.”
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