LANHAM – The Small Businesses Majority will recognize a Lanham owner’s relentless advocacy for the success of their small businesses on Friday.
Small Business Majority, a national small business advocacy group, awarded KBQ Real Barbecue owner Lya Wesley Britt the group’s inaugural regional Small Business Advocate Award for championing paid sick leave for small businesses in front of lawmakers.
“Lya Wesley Britt has been a powerful voice for small businesses on issues like paid sick leave,” said Erik Rettig, mid-Atlantic outreach manager for Small Business Majority.
Rettig will present the award to Lya at KBQ Real Barbecue Friday afternoon.
“I’m very excited about winning the award. It was a surprise when Erik called and said I was getting the award,” Britt said.
Britt testified at a Prince George’s County Council meeting on Oct. 13 at the request of one of her employees. Britt was trying to help push through a bill that would allow hourly employees to earn paid sick leave across the county.
“It’s crucial that lawmakers and the media hear directly from small business owners about what works and what doesn’t for the small business community,” Rettig said.
The bill did not pass, but Britt isn’t letting that stop her.
“We’re going to implement a paid sick leave for our employees,” Britt said.
Britt said at least five of her 25 employees have been working at KBQ Real Barbecue since it opened nine and a half years ago, and her employees have become like family to her.
“As we evolve as a small business, we need to make sure we are looking out for our folks,” she said. “When I testified, it was really a human right issue. Underrepresented people need someone who can speak up for them.”
Small Business Majority backs small businesses that create jobs in the community and better local economies, like Britt’s business.
“(Britt) has been a strong voice in the community in helping small businesses gain access to capital and the loans the need to survive,” Rettig said.
In addition to her Lanham location, Britt is getting ready open another KBQ Barbecue location in D.C.