Karen Barbour, president of The Barbour Group co-chairs state committees, testifies in Congress, and serves on her local economic development committee. Her business is providing surety bonds to contractors and much of it involves government contracts.
“My industry needs to change,” Barbour says. “Small businesses need to wake up. She has advocated for change in everything from the way small business credit scores are dinged when they seek bonding from multiple companies to making government agencies unbundle contracts so small bidders have a better chance.
She is particularly adamant about how women are treated when starting businesses, often with a credit score harmed by divorce or having no track record because they relied on their husband’s score.
“We need big businesses to hear our voices,” she says, citing the Dr. Seuss story of Horton Hears a Who, in which a chorus of united small voices made change happen.