Assembly Member James Ramos Discusses his Small-Business Past

Date: May 25, 2021

One of the California Legislature’s most experienced lawmakers on Main Street issues is the special guest of an NFIB California podcast

It would be tough to find any equal Assembly Member James Ramos has in the California Legislature when it comes to knowing the issues small-business owners face and cope with every day.

In a podcast talk with NFIB California’s chief legislative advocate Kevin Pedrotti, Assembly Member Ramos talks about his small-business past and why he authored Assembly Bill 247, which would give small businesses some liability protection against unfair COVID-19 lawsuits, and Assembly Bill 632, which would lower the state’s Minimum Franchise Tax.

Ramos’ small-business life started in his grandmother’s snack shop behind some horse stables that catered to visitors looking for a ride, selling sodas and candy bars. Making sure he took care of customers with napkins and eating utensils marked him at an early age as having that key ingredient essential to the professional he would grow up to be: Attention to detail.

From grandma’s snack shop, his life course would go on to include a master’s degree in business from the University of Redlands, chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, numerous public office appointments by Democrats and Republicans, and state and local elective office. His small-business experience includes ownership of coffee shops and restaurants, including Pepito’s Drive-In in Highland (San Bernardino County), which he still owns today.

“The mentality that many have is that if you’re in business, you’re making money,” said Ramos in the podcast. “Well, I’ve bussed tables at my own restaurant. I even tried to do short-order cooking, and the cooks pushed me back to bus the tables and do the dishwashing. But I’ve done it, swept the floors. It’s not that when you’re in business, all of the sudden you’re making this amount of money. No. Many small-business people are in business because they genuinely care about their community and the people they serve. It’s that connection to the local community that helps drive the relationship with our small-business owners that many times live and grew up in the communities they are now serving.”

Click the arrow below to listen to the 20-minute podcast with Assembly Member James Ramos, and click here to listen to past NFIB California podcasts with influential leaders.

Related Content: Small Business News | California

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