JCP Construction was honored to have Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris visit our headquarters.

She held a roundtable discussion with black leaders and small business owners in Milwaukee at our location. We were proud to have our very own James Phelps (President) participate in the roundtable discussion.

Co-owner and Vice President of Business Development Clifton Phelps said they worked tirelessly to get the place in order for the event. He appreciated the opportunity to meet and talk with Harris.

“She wanted to know about our business. She wanted to know about how she could help, and she wanted to know how we were doing in the pandemic that we’re in now,” Phelps said.

JCP Construction leadership had the opportunity to talk with Harris one-on-one as well as during the roundtable discussion. The main areas of conversation surrounded how COVID-19 had impacted local businesses and then discussing the biggest hurdles that businesses, especially minority owned businesses, need to overcome.

We were able to inform Harris that the COVID-19 pandemic had certainly caused disruption for our business and industry (slowed down projects, lost some work, architects limiting their work due to uncertainty, etc.), but that JCP Construction will overcome these obstacles the same way that we’ve overcome previous obstacles we’ve faced.

When asked about what’s needed for a small business to survive, we brought up access to capital. This is especially true for minority owned businesses. JCP Construction had to fight for a limited line of credit early on and it wasn’t until a minority banker gave us a chance that we were really able to get going.

Harris discussed the Biden-Harris plan and how one of the goals of that plan is to provide capital to small businesses. You can find out more on that plan here. There was also discussion around Community Development Financial Institutions Funds and how they can really help small businesses that more traditional banks don’t want to take a chance on. JCP’s Clifton Phelps has had some experience with the success of CDFI’s through his previous work at the African American Chamber of Commerce. He observed that most of the people that receive these types of loans don’t default.

Overall, there was some great discussion and JCP Construction was honored to host Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

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