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Texas Leaders, Small Businesses Cite Importance of Digital Tools for Economic Recovery

AUSTIN, TEXAS (June 23, 2020) – Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Texas small businesses joined industry leaders for a discussion about the importance of technology platforms and tools and the current technology regulatory environment. The ‘Tech Forward Webcast: How Technology Is Fueling the Texas Recovery’ was hosted by Jake Ward, President of the Connected Commerce Council, a non-profit membership organization representing digitally empowered small businesses. 

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush commented on the evolving role of technology for both government and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. “Technology can unlock opportunities for small businesses,” said Bush, noting entrepreneurs now have new strategies for reaching out to customers and clients. 

Bush emphasized the Texas spirit embraced during the crisis by Texas’ healthcare workers, educators, and business owners. “Even though we are, in many instances, isolated from one another we still have that Texas spirit.”

Texas small businesses ShearShare and Kettlebell Kings shared their perspective on operating a small business during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they are preparing to leverage the online economy moving forward. 

“When the pandemic hit… we [Kettlebell Kings] were still able to do everything we were doing before quarantine,” said Chad Price of Austin-based Kettlebell Kings. “If we hadn’t been so digitally focused, which a lot of companies weren’t, we could have seen devastating effects [to our business].” 

Courtney Caldwell, COO and Cofounder of ShearShare, the world’s first salon and barbershop space rental app, shared how digital tools have enabled the company to reach their network of stylists to share important industry updates, tips, and financial resources during the pandemic. 

“Today we have over 100 plus new pieces of content that are all about the business behind the chair,” said Caldwell. “‘Like how do I apply for PPP [Paycheck Protection Program] as a salon owner?’ Or even as an independent contractor or barber, ‘how do I access the EIDL [Economic Injury Disaster Loan]?’”

Josiah Neeley of R Street Institute and Alec Stapp of Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) spoke on a panel regarding policy and regulation on the technology sector, noting policy remedies proposed in D.C and pursuits of state attorneys general to break up or heavily regulate technology companies have the potential to backfire, hurting consumers.

To view a recording of the webinar, visit https://youtu.be/MKJTyFuQXFI.

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