Marc Parham is Managing Partner of CAPBuilder Network Group and a member of Business Forward’s Local Leadership Council. On October 11th, he traveled from Atlanta to brief President Obama on the impacts of the government shutdown and threat of default on his business. He took some time to tell us about his White House meeting and the importance of continued cooperation between lawmakers on Capitol Hill for invest`ors, entrepreneurs and small business owners as we again approach the debt ceiling.
Question: How did you get involved with Business Forward?
Marc Parham: Two years ago, I was invited by an associate to attend a Business Forward event at the White House. The event was a business summit where 75 business leaders had the opportunity to meet with senior Administration officials to discuss efforts underway to assist U.S. businesses. It was a powerful meeting that gave us a lot of information to take back to our business associates in our respective cities. Since that time, I have worked with Business Forward to bring these officials to my city to have discussions with small business leaders about current matters affecting small business.
Q: How is Business Forward different from other groups you’ve been a part of?
MP: Business Forward is different because it gives business leaders the opportunity to brief government officials and have a direct impact on issues concerning small business owners.
Q: Tell me about your experience briefing President Obama on the impact of the government shutdown on your business.
MP: In a word, outstanding! The fact that President Obama took the time to sit down and discuss how we were being affected was true to his consistent message that we are all in this together. He was very open and frank about his position and was very interested in what we had to say.
Q: What advice did you share with the President?
MP: I told the President that I work with people either starting or growing small businesses. This Administration has been doing a fantastic job through the Small Business Administration to help small businesses start up and grow. Many people that I work with that are on unemployment have been working to start their own business, and others with businesses are applying for loans with the SBA. The shutdown shook the confidence of these people. They are now truly concerned about stepping out to change their lives.
Marc Parham is Managing Partner of CAPBuilder Network Group and a member of Business Forward’s Local Leadership Council.