Learn How to Invest in Talent + The Small Business of the Year Is...October 21, 2021
- A Boston store making wine more accessible to everyone is the 2021 'Dream Big' Small Business of the Year.
- Inflation is outpacing wage growth, eroding Americans' purchasing power.
- The U.S., along with 30 countries and the European Union, launched an initiative to counter ransomware attacks.
- The FDA authorized COVID-19 boosters for more Americans.
DEVELOPMENTS THAT MATTER
Boston Wine Store is 2021 ‘Dream Big’ Small Business of the Year
Today, the Chamber named The Urban Grape in Boston, MA, the 2021 ‘Dream Big’ Small Business of the Year.
Why it matters: The award, presented by Spectrum Reach, recognizes a small business that embodies the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and individual initiative.
Details: The Urban Grape makes everyone from novice wine drinkers to seasoned collectors feel comfortable and welcome, particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) shoppers.
- Founded in 2010, the Urban Grape has 14 employees dedicated to making all people feel like wine is for them. The store is also one of the largest sellers of BIPOC-owned and -produced wines in the country—and sells over two thirds of all the BIPOC-produced wines sold in New England.
More winners. The 2021 Dream Big Awards also named the following winners in eight categories:
- Emerging Business Achievement Award: Imperium Data Networks – Tampa, FL
- Green/Sustainable Business Achievement Award: Recyclops – Sandy, UT
- Minority-Owned Business Achievement Award: TOOTRiS – San Diego, CA
- Veteran-Owned Business Achievement Award: Building Momentum – Alexandria, VA
- Woman-Owned Business Achievement Award: Made in Corpus Christi – Corpus Christi, TX
- LGBTQ-Owned Business Achievement Award: Hideaway Cafe – Winchester, VA
- Young Entrepreneur Achievement Award: Embark Trucks – San Francisco, CA
- Community Support and Leadership Award: Medium Rare – Bethesda, MD; Washington, DC; Arlington, VA
Our take: “Whether building out a fleet of self-driving trucks, helping parents find affordable and quality childcare services, or curating a gift shop fit for the community, this year’s Dream Big Award winners represent the best of American small business. Congratulations to The Urban Grape, and all of this year’s winners and finalists,” said Tom Sullivan, Chamber Vice President of Small Business Policy.
Inflation Starts Eating into Americans’ Wages
As elevated levels of inflation persist, higher prices are starting to take a bite out of Americans’ pocketbooks.
Why it matters: Inflation is outpacing robust wage growth, meaning that the real purchasing power of workers is falling.
Details: Until April of this year, wage growth had been higher than inflation for every month since July 2018.
Be smart: Wages rose 4.6% in September. Inflation was 5.4% though, meaning workers saw their buying power dip 0.8%.
Bottom line: If inflation persists at current levels, it will erode more consumer buying power. Alleviating the pressure on the supply chain will help ease inflation, but if Congress insists on pushing more spending to finance consumption, higher prices that reduce buying power could become the new norm.
—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
TOP OF MIND
International Coalition Launches Counter-Ransomware Initiative
Last Thursday, the White House hosted a virtual Counter-Ransomware Initiative meeting with 30 countries and the European Union. The initiative unveiled four areas for international collaboration: enhancing national resilience; countering illicit finance; disruption and other law enforcement efforts; and diplomacy.
Why it matters: Ransomware is a global security threat with economic and national security consequences. The average downtime due to ransomware attacks was 21 days in 2020, and last year, victims paid out $350 million in ransom payments.
Be smart: The U.S. government, working with allies and international partners, needs to step up efforts to hold cyberattackers accountable by imposing consequences where appropriate.
Take action: Businesses of all sizes should implement five best practices to reduce the risk of ransomware attacks:
- Use multifactor authentication
- Encrypt data
- Deploy anti-virus software
- Share threat intelligence
- Employ security teams
Watch: Ross Perot, Jr., explains why working with local FBI offices on cyberthreats is crucial for businesses.
FDA Authorizes More COVID-19 Booster Doses
As coronavirus cases continue to fall, the debate over boosters has been heating up, with news from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week.
What happened: Yesterday, the FDA authorized booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Moderna recipients ages 65 and older and those 18-64 at severe risk of COVID-19 are now eligible for a booster. For J&J recipients, all 15 million Americans who initially received the one-dose vaccine are now eligible for a second shot at least two months after the initial dose.
- What’s more, the FDA endorsed the use of “mix-and-match” boosters, meaning those that initially received the J&J vaccine can obtain an mRNA booster dose.
What’s next: Today, a key Center for Disease Control and Prevention committee met to discuss guidance on how and when to distribute the booster doses. Stay tuned for more details next week on the outcome of that meeting.
—Kelly Anderson, Senior Director, Health and Drug Policy, Global Innovation Policy Center
SMALL BUSINESS, BIG IMPACT 7 Ways Your Business Can Get Ready for Black Friday Be ready for the biggest shopping day of the year. CHAMBER IN ACTION
- On Tuesday, the Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) hosted its Summit XXI: On the Horizon where experts discussed the most pressing legal reform topics and trends.
- On Wednesday, the Chamber celebrated “Support Your Local Chamber Day” in honor of the work local chambers of commerce do across the nation to support small businesses. Throughout the day, our message was amplified across social media by lawmakers, state and local chambers, and businesses.
- For this year’s U.S. Chamber Foundation MBA Case Competition, MBA students will be challenged to create solutions that help close America’s entrepreneurship gap by increasing access to capital for Black entrepreneurs. Interested students can learn more and register by October 27.
- The Chamber Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes launched their latest Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone in Ohio, building on 20 existing state sites that bring together businesses and community partners to identify opportunities for military spouses seeking meaningful employment.
- Sixty-nine percent of middle market executives said they are familiar with using ESG criteria to evaluate performance, a 30-percentage-point increase from Q4 2019, according to the RSM US Middle Market Business Index Special Report on ESG, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
THE CHAMBER ON TWITTER
We recently held a townhall event, featuring Brett Hart, president of United Airlines, on the challenges American minorities face in the private sector.
- Follow the Chamber on Twitter.
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