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Leaders and Advocates Support Governor Newsom’s Appointment of New Small Business Advocate

Sacramento, CA – Following the Newsom Administration’s announcement today that Tara Lynn Gray will lead the California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), small business leaders across the state responded in support of the decision.

“Tara is a tireless and effective leader in California’s small business community and the right choice at this pivotal time,” said Ashley Swearengin, CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation and former mayor of Fresno. “As the State of California continues its recovery, Tara will turn advocacy into action, get results for small businesses, and ensure our diverse small business owners and entrepreneurs are at the table driving towards an equitable and inclusive economic recovery.”

“As California continues in its recovery, it’s crucial that we recognize minority, women, and immigrant small business owners across the state and the need for connection that is authentic,” said Jay King, President/CEO of the California Black Chamber of Commerce. “Tara is a one-of-a-kind advocate making her exceptionally well-positioned for this new role. Her dedication to all of California’s small business owners will ensure that inclusivity and equity absolutely remain the cornerstone of our economic recovery.”

“Our recovery must focus on equitable small business growth,” said Mark Herbert, Managing Director of California for Small Business Majority. “As a longstanding advocate for small businesses across the state, Tara’s insight and commitment to the needs of all of our entrepreneurs is critical as the State continues its important work to preserve all of the small businesses that make our communities home. Today’s announcement is yet another proof point of Governor Newsom’s ongoing commitment to equity and inclusivity as we recover together.”

“Small business has always been integral to the success of California’s economy, which is why today is a very special day for small business owners and entrepreneurs across the state,” said Betty Jo Toccoli, President of the California Small Business Association. “Tara will bring a longstanding history of understanding the nuances of small business and advocacy for small businesses to this new role. She is extremely well-qualified for this position and we couldn’t be more ecstatic to collaborate with her to ensure an equitable recovery and sustained growth for California’s small business community.”

“Small businesses are the hardworking hearts of our communities,” said Tate Hill, Executive Director of Access Plus Capital. “As they continue to face the ongoing challenge of recovering from this pandemic, they need an advocate who won’t stop when it comes to providing them all the support possible so they can be the engines of our economy they’re meant to be. Tara is the right person at the right time to help lead the fight to strengthen California’s local small business ecosystem.”

To read the full announcement sharing Tara Lynn Gray’s appointment to serve as CalOSBA’s director, click here.