Recently, I attended graduation for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. I completed the program a year ago and we got together last week in a graduation ceremony with representatives of 90 or so other local businesses from the Greater New Orleans and surrounding area (from Baton Rouge to southern Mississippi) that completed the program. According to Goldman Sachs, the program “is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. To date, more than 7,300 business owners have graduated from the program across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.”
It’s easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day work and the political conflict that often comes with immigration, but I’m proud to have completed the program and connected with other business owners from our community. I met people outside of the bubble that I can find myself in between my work and social life, and it was a useful reminder in our polarized culture that we can find ways to communicate. The experience helped me see an immigration law firm as part of the fabric of the regional economy and made more conscious of the way that we are working to enrich our community by enriching immigration in the Greater New Orleans area by helping employers in our area recruit and retain the best talent in their fields through immigration. That feeling of connection is powerful, as is the knowledge that we now have a larger support network than we once did.