Wow! Over 20,000 views to my share of the Finance & Commerce article, “Subcontractors take a hit,” on LinkedIn. Thank you to Brian Johnson and Finance & Commerce for working with me to show the public what is happening in this industry. To member Wendy Sullivan, thank you for having the courage to go public and show the crisis created by the public entities denial change orders for pandemic related cost increases and schedule delays. 
While preparing for the article, I emailed our women owned business members to see how many were experiencing the change order denials on public projects. Within 2 hours a dozen of you reached out. You sent me price increase notices from your distributors, letters of “breach of contract” threats, denial notices on your requested change orders, and your stories of how this is impacting your businesses. I heard of maxed out credit lines, loan applications to keep going, foreclosure potential and my least favorite: closing my business.   
Another theme I heard was that some of you felt you are alone in this and were comforted knowing others share in these struggles. It brought me back to the 2009-2010 recession. I remember arriving at a committee meeting and a few members were in tears comforting each other as they discussed how they were going to make payroll. They helped each other navigate and weather the storm. Are you aware that peer support is one of AWC’s core values? I encourage you to come to events and continue to build your network of peers so you can find solutions or at least have a shoulder.  

In addition, please educate me on your struggles. It is ok to swallow your pride and be vulnerable with me. Not only does this help you all with finding solutions and sharing resources, but it aids in my story telling ability. While AWC has no lobbyist, no staff made up of policy makers or paid legal counsel, I am working behind the scenes for you all to find solutions to this crisis. Your examples allow me to say “my members are hurting, how can we help them?” In the months to come you will hear what I am doing to affect change and you may be asked to sit in meetings or to testify. We have 20,000 views and are educating people across the country in just one LinkedIn post. Imagine the change together we can affect. 

— B