As the sun beats down on Phoenix in what’s shaping up to be one of the hottest summers on record, the future has never looked brighter for my solar construction company.
It was founded 20 years ago with the passion to bring what was then a “fringe idea” — solar energy — to Arizona. In 2014, I became the company’s CEO after five years of focusing on state and local solar policy. Since then, we’ve helped countless Arizona homeowners save money and reduce their carbon footprint by switching to solar and powering their homes sustainably.
I was born and raised in Arizona, and although you may think leading and building a solar company in the Valley would be an easy feat — after all, we have year-round sunshine and week-long spans of cloudless blue skies — my last 10 years as a business owner have been anything but easy.
I’ve steered my company through a decade-long battle against conservative lobbyists and lawmakers to make clean energy accessible; a wave of less-than-stellar competition; and, most recently, a global pandemic. Around this time last year, I was committed to keeping my employees safe and my customers’ homes secured from high power bills and the monsoon season.
At the height of the pandemic, a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan gave my business and so many others a jump start when we needed it most — and today my company is thriving, with our next year’s projections looking even better. The PPP loans, along with personal stimulus checks, delivered companies and workers across the country some much needed relief in what was otherwise a rough year for businesses.
As a businesswoman, I cannot understate the value-add that our current occupant of the West Wing has had on my bottom line — and my sanity. After four long years of chaos, President Joe Biden has brought stability and leadership to American businesses at a time when we needed it most. His recovery plan continues to rebuild the economy from the ground up and the middle out, and as we approach the Fourth of July, American businesses are back and booming.
What’s more: The Biden-Harris administration is committed to supporting small business owners like me who have forged their own path to create sustainable energy solutions for their communities. When our company opened, residential solar was just an idea. Today, with an administration in the White House that values entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability, it feels like we are rebuilding and reimagining a backbone of American business that is meant to last.
With his Day One decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement, President Biden set a course for the United States to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad and committed to building a clean energy economy of the future. His American Rescue Plan allocations doubled down on this commitment with historic investments in public transportation and local, climate-friendly energy efficiency programs. And that’s only the start of his build back better agenda.
A decade ago, I had to blaze my own trail and fight for legislation to ensure that Arizona’s families would have the right to choose solar energy to power their homes. Now, with a leader in the White House who supports both green energy policy and small business owners, there’s no telling what’s possible for companies like mine. One thing I do know: The sky’s the limit, and the future has never looked brighter.