Congressman David Valadao hosted a workshop on Aug. 13 aimed at helping small business owners.

The workshop, held at the Kingsburg Senior Center, included an introduction from Valadao as well as two guest speakers: Carlos Mendoza, director of the Fresno office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Luke Wake, senior staff attorney at the National Federation of Independent Businesses’ Legal Center.

During the workshop, the speakers addressed issues such as how owners can grow their businesses, comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, bring in more capital and more. 

"We are working in Washington D.C. and Sacramento to ensure that the voice of small business is heard on important policy issues," Wake said. "Our goal is to be a compliance resource and help give information to business owners."

Mendoza said that most issues facing small business owners come back to the issue of jobs.

"All of these are connected to jobs. That's why we're interested," he said. "When there's job creation and sustained job growth, America does well."

Concerns about ADA lawsuits were a primary focus on the event. Wake said business owners need to be aware that there are some people who file a bevy of ADA lawsuits just to make money. 

"There are people who make livings doing nothing but bringing these ADA lawsuits, and they can really sit in their living room and on Google Maps, actually see visually what your business looks like from the exterior," he said. 

On the topic of ADA lawsuits, Valadao said business owners should be proactive and resolve issues to avoid a lawsuit. He said the federal government can assist with this.

"This will not only prevent small businesses from closing down because of frivolous litigation, but it will also ensure folks with disabilities are treated fairly," he said. "As your representative, I am the closest link between my constituents and the federal government. Unlike the President or our Senators who represent much larger populations, I get to actually speak to my constituents directly. This provides me with unique insight on the issues that impact our valley most."

The reporter can be reached at 583-2429 or jluiz@hanfordsentinel.com

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