Detroit area women business owners discuss problems with fed officials

Southfield — During the pandemic Tara Young, owner of 44 Burrito in Detroit, had to gradually reduce her days of operation as she lost nearly 80% of her staff.

“I didn’t get a break,” she said. “We were feeding frontline workers. I’m getting a break now because of lack of employees.”

Young was among several women owners of small businesses and leaders in sectors including manufacturing and construction to express their concerns this week during a roundtable in Southfield with Isabel Guzman, administrator of the US Small Business Administration.

US Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, hosted the conversation at the Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University in honor of Women’s History Month. She was joined by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and fellow Reps. Haley Stevens, D-Waterford Township, and Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit.

Guzman said the SBA has issued more $33 billion in pandemic relief under initiatives including the Paycheck Protection Program and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

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