Harris Triangle VP visit to focus on helping small businesses

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RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Vice President Kamala Harris is coming to the Triangle Thursday to highlight small businesses.

The Small Business Administration said 2021 and 2022 were the two best years for new business applications, with a combined 10.5 million applications.

Hightide Salon in Raleigh opened its doors at the very beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

β€œIt really has been an extreme roller coaster,” said salon owner Maggie Leonhardt.

Leonhardt said the challenges of the pandemic have made her stronger as a business owner. Her client list has grown over the past two and a half years. Now the last challenge is the economy.

“I’ve noticed that people are spending less, stretching out their appointments, or just wanting to take a different approach to their hairstyles that are less economical,” Leonhardt said.

One of her first challenges was getting the salon in the first place.

“It’s really hard for people like me who come from their own support and from their own financial standpoint to find a place in Raleigh,” Leonhardt said.

That’s why she wants Harris to solve the financial difficulties of securing the perfect storefront.

β€œI hope we don’t lose sight as Raleigh grows of opportunities for family businesses to grow, and I really hope they come up with solutions for that,” Leonhardt said.

Debra Fowler is the CEO of Pupsi Inc. in Kerry, providing day care, boarding, training and grooming for dogs. She emphasized how important small businesses are to society, and hopes for that during the vice president’s visit.

“It’s about the community and everybody coming together and supporting small businesses and not going to the big companies that are everywhere and everything because, you know, you don’t want small businesses to go away,” Fowler said.

Fowler said business is booming after COVID and more people are becoming pet owners, but they’ve also had to hire more employees, which hasn’t been easy.

The White House has yet to release specific details of Harris’ visit.

Harris Triangle VP visit to focus on helping small businesses

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