RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Kamala Harris is in Raleigh to discuss small businesses and the efforts being done at the White House to support them in North Carolina.
On Monday morning, Harris was joined by democratic NC Representatives Wiley Nickel (NC-13), Deborah Ross (NC-02) and Valerie Foushee (NC-04) on Air Force Two. The group departed from Andrews Air Force Base where a couple of photos were snapped and shared on Twitter.
Governor Roy Cooper, Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin along with other local and state leaders met with them when they landed at RDU.
The group then headed to the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh where a roundtable discussion will take place, moderated by Small Business Administration Director Isabel Guzman.
“It’s an honor to welcome Vice President Harris to North Carolina’s 13th District,” said Nickel in a Monday statement.
“Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the backbone of this economy. I’m excited to get to work and partner with the Administration, Governor Cooper, our state’s federal delegation, and local and community leaders to ensure our small businesses and entrepreneurs have the support and resources they need to thrive here in North Carolina,” Nickel added.
Before Harris hit the stage, Governor Roy Cooper addressed the crowd.
During the roundtable discussion, Harris was asked why supporting small business is a priority. In her answer, the vice president said small businesses employ half the nation’s work force.
“They are contributing to the economic health of our nation in a profound way,” Harris said.
What about Americans who want to start a small business? The moderator asked if the vice president feels it is a good time to start one up, despite some widespread economic challenges.
“Yes, now is a good time,” Harris said. “…The work that we have been doing over the last couple of years has been to maximize the capacity of that additional funding to increase access to capital.”
See the full roundtable discussion below.
After the discussion, Harris made an unannounced stop at Panaderia Artesanal, a Latina-owned bakery in Raleigh.
Jessica Karina Barahora, the owner of the business, said she was able to start it with a loan from the Latino Community Credit Union. She used that loan to purchase a vehicle which she initially ran the business out of until she was able to rent a storefront on Capital Boulevard, according to a pool report.
Following Harris’ departure to D.C., the NC Republican Party shared the following statement with CBS 17 on the her visit.
“While VP Harris is in NC today, it’s important to note that the Biden administration has ushered in one of the most difficult economies ever for small-business owners here in NC and around the nation. Historic inflation, supply chain disruptions, spiking interest rates and labor shortages are squeezing North Carolina business owners, and it can all be traced directly back to failing Democrat policies.”