RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh business owner is advocating for small businesses around the country.

It comes as the Federal Reserve considers a proposed regulation on small business owners.

Cherelle James looking at the City of Raleigh (Chloe Rafferty/CBS 17)

A voice for small businesses

Cherelle James is the co-founder and CEO of My Local CFO, a business financial firm that helps other businesses work through financial barriers.

She and her husband started the business in 2011.

“We saw small and medium sized businesses going out of business, not because they weren’t good at what they do, but because of the financial side of things. Not understanding or having a handle on that,” she explained.

Her expertise is also reaching a national level, as she and many others from around the country visited Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to meet with lawmakers and members of the Federal Reserve.

Making a difference

The visit to D.C. comes as the Federal Reserve considers a proposed regulation, known as Basel III Endgame.

“It’s a proposal for bigger banks to have to take on more assets,” James explained. “And small businesses, we don’t have a lot of assets.”

She said it could lead to stricter lending for capital, like business loans.

According to a September 2023 survey from investment banking company Goldman Sachs, 84% of small businesses are concerned the proposal will negatively impact their ability to access capital in an already difficult market, 76% said not being able to access affordable capital has negatively impacted their business and 73% said rising interest rates are negatively impacting their business.

“We provide half of the labor force for the U.S., and so when things get tighter for us and we’re not able to sustain and grow, what happens to our labor force? What happens to our communities?” she said.

James said North Carolina lawmakers are siding with small business owners, and have signed petitions for the Federal Reserve.

Their campaign is called Tell the Fed to Stop the Squeeze on Small Business. Click here to learn more.

“Business doesn’t need tighter restrictions, we need to be able to just do business,” James said.

What happens next?

The Federal Reserve’s proposal period goes through January.

James said if they do decide to enforce the regulation, it will be some time before it takes effect.

Federal Reserve (Credit: Cherelle James)