For many small businesses, the pandemic and recession was devastating. Some long time businesses closed for good. Other shops survived, barely. The changes have reshaped many downtowns in cities and in neighborhoods. Now, with recovery underway, what are the opportunities and remaining challenges for small businesses?

CalMatters and the Milken Institute hosted a discussion about what’s ahead for small business in California on July 13.

Small Business Community: What happened to Mom and Pop?


  • Isabel Casillas Guzman, Administrator, Small Business Association
  • Lenore Estrada, small business owner
  • Mark J. Robertson, Sr., President and CEO, Pacific Coast Regional
  • Carolina Martinez, CEO, California Microenterprise Organization
  • Eugene Cornelius, Jr., Senior Director, Center for Regional Economics and California Center

This discussion was moderated by CalMatters reporter Nigel Duara. You can watch a recording of the event, or read a recap of the conversation.

This discussion is part of the Future of Work series, conversations hosted by CalMatters and the Milken Institute exploring California’s recovery from recession and progress toward an economy centered on equity, mobility and opportunity.

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