Small Business Policy Expo 2019 & Ready to Launch Congressional Reception

By at 26 January, 2019, 7:00 am

A new Congress means new policy priorities. Small Business Policy Expo 2019 will explore the opportunities for legislative action to support strong entrepreneurship and small business growth.


January 30, 2019

Small Business Expo 2019 Panels and Discussion    2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

Ready to Launch Congressional Reception                 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Small Business Policy Expo 2019 will feature conversations with the nation’s leading small business advocates, friends in Congress and the Administration about the state of entrepreneurship and small business, and the policies needed to enable both.

The change on Capitol Hill means new power players, new policy proposals and new strategies for advancing legislation.  Where do policies impacting entrepreneurship and small businesses fit in? SBE Council sees an opportunity for bipartisan action in several key areas. Policy experts and advocates for entrepreneurs and small business will discuss the policy tailwinds and headwinds for entrepreneurs and the economy, as well as emerging issues.

A “Ready to Launch” reception honoring new Members of the 116th Congress will conclude the day.


AT&T Forum for Technology, Entertainment & Policy

601 New Jersey Avenue NW

Washington, D.C.  20001


(Check back for updates and confirmed speakers!)

Master of Ceremonies: Ramon Ray, Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine 

2:00 p.m.  The Small Business Agenda 2019 – Consensus for Action?

The nation’s leading small business advocates discuss key areas for bipartisan collaboration in 2019.


● Talisha Bekavac, Vice President of Government and External Affairs, U.S. Black Chambers Inc.

● Keith Hall, President & CEO, National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

● Corinne Hodges, CEO, Association of Women’s Business Centers

● Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) 

● Todd McCracken, President, National Small Business Association,  (NSBA) – MODERATOR

3:00 p.mBrian Blase, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, National Security Council/National Economic Council,  The White House

Mr. Blase will provide an update on the Administration’s health care policies to improve competitiveness, flexibility and affordability for entrepreneurs and small businesses. 

3:15 p.m.  Policy Headwinds and Uncertainties in 2019

Small business leaders and policy advocates discuss how changes on Capitol Hill and trends in existing policies could create uncertainty for the economy and entrepreneurs.


● Suzanne Beall, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy, International Franchise Association

● Ben Brubeck, Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)

● Brian Moran, Founder & CEO, Small Business Edge – MODERATOR

● Tom Sullivan, Vice President for Small Business Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

● Joel White, President, Coalition for Affordable Health Coverage

4:00 p.m.  Taking the Lead: The Future of U.S. Trade Policy

Leading business experts discuss trade and its importance to small business growth and entrepreneurship, USMCA, trade agreements in the pipeline, and the direction of the Administration’s trade policies.


  Talisha Bekavac, Vice President of Government and External Affairs, U.S. Black Chambers Inc.

● Richard Garcia, Chief of Staff, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

● Raymond J. Keating, Chief Economist, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council)

● Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council)  – MODERATOR

● Ken Monahan, Director of International Trade Policy, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

5:00 p.m.  Propelling Startups, Small Businesses and Innovation Through Smart Policies

What policies are in the works or needed to support innovative startups, strengthen U.S. competitiveness, and enable a more dynamic economy? Panelists will discuss capital access, the outlook on opportunity zones, spurring innovative startups, workforce issues and more.


 Rhett Buttle, Executive Director, Small Business Roundtable – MODERATOR

 Eric Corl, President & Founder, Idea Buyer LLC and

 Youngro Lee, Co-Founder & CEO, NextSeed and President, Association of Online Investment Platforms

● Karen Maples, Founder & Chief Catalyst, FutureForward 

● Katie Vlietstra Wonnenberg, Principal, Public Private Strategies  

Invited Speakers of the 116th Congress:

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)

Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ)

Senator John Thune (R-SD)

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)

Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH)

….and more! Also invited: Special Guests from the White House

6:00 p.m.   Ready to Launch Congressional Reception

Join us for food and refreshments in honor of the new Members of the 116th Congress. Meet the leaders of the nation’s leading organizations representing small business owners and entrepreneurs!

RSVP: Register here.

The Small Business Policy Expo & Ready to Launch Congressional Reception is a Widely Attended Event

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