Lang Strategies LLC

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Now is the Time to Step up and Support Small Businesses

Consider this: According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), only 40 percent of small businesses are profitable, and that is during “normal” economic times. During this unprecedented pandemic, thousands of people have lost their lives, and together we mourn for the families impacted so tragically. Thousands more have lost their jobs and are scraping to make ends meet. Many of these are small business owners and employees who do not have the resources to lose months of business and remain open. We must support them now more than ever. As the former president and CEO of the DC Chamber for 13 years, our member base consisted of 60 percent small businesses, and their passion for community and economics was inspiring and drove the economic renaissance DC experienced in the early 2000s. These business owners took pride not only in their business and serving customers, but also quality of life including

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Barbara Lang: Ethics deserve a starring role in business dealings

Ethics deserve a starring role in business dealings They created cultures of fear, deception and arrogance, and they put their own personal interests in front of all others, including their own families. They didn’t care whose lives they destroyed, using their power to conquer and destroy anyone blocking their path to money and gratification. Shockingly, they manipulated those around them — people with whom they built trust — to foster networks of secrecy and allegiance beyond anything we have seen in the history of American business. Ironically, they crucified themselves through historic cheating, lying and a breakdown of ethics never seen before. Many are household names, and we should all cringe when we hear them, even as they are reduced to insignificance and confined to moldy jail cells. Ken Lay, CEO and chairman of Enron, was the mastermind of a historic accounting scandal at the energy company, resulting in its

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Barbara Lang: D.C. must flex its local economic muscle

Let’s face it. On the proverbial plane of economic development, the District of Columbia is in the middle seat fighting for elbow room with Maryland on one side and Virginia on the other. We have a history of challenging business practices that cannot compete with the tax structures and available spaces offered to the north and south of our nation’s capital. While Northern Virginia is known for its robust and global technology corridor, Montgomery County is known for its world-class biotechnology sector. Sure, our neighbors cannot compete with our pristine monuments, museums and our rich hospitality industry, but we need to be known for more than a federal enclave, even if our neighborhoods and quality of life do continue to improve. This growth needs to be part of our economic strategy that is sustainable for generations. I give credit to former Mayor and Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry, whom I

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Letter to DC Council from Barbara Lang

Dear Mr. Chairman: Re: Sports Betting & the DC Lottery Contract As you know, I have a strong history advocating for small businesses in this city. As Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer at Fannie Mae for 10 years and more than 12 years as President & CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce, I know first-hand how important these businesses are to the District and the civic and economic impact they have on our city. Since leaving the Chamber in March 2014, I have stayed completely out of the DC political environment and advocating for or against business interests. But I cannot remain silent any longer. I have been extremely disappointed watching the ‘circus like’ atmosphere surrounding this contract put forth by some of your colleagues and from some in the media. This is a mockery of the very businesses that support this community daily, and I felt compelled

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Reflecting on Five Years of Lang Strategies

With change comes opportunity. But the uncertainty that comes with change can often cause anxiety and even fear, yet no one I know has ever succeeded without some discomfort along the way. When I left the DC Chamber of Commerce more than five years ago, I felt some of that discomfort as I packed up my belongings and turned the lights off in my office for the final time. There was also some anxiety as I wondered whether I made the right decision to venture out on my own. Before my 12 years at the DC Chamber, I had worked in Corporate America for 30 years, earning a steady paycheck and advancing my career through hard work and perseverance. Now it was all on me to ensure my new venture succeeded. When I was president and CEO of the DC Chamber, people saw me as a partner, and someone who

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Creating a Culture of Women’s Empowerment Beyond March

I am a woman, and proud of it. I say that not in a defiant way, but it happens to be a fact of which I am very proud. The challenges and obstacles set before me as a minority woman throughout my life have not discouraged me, but empowered me to be not the just the best woman I can be, but the best person, professionally and personally.March is Women’s History Month, which is important because it highlights the female leaders today and throughout history who have contributed so much to business and society. But let’s be very clear: this is not about one month of recognition. This is a permanent movement that is not going anywhere, as women still too many times face discrimination and a diminished message simply because of their gender. While the “Me Too” movement, more economic empowerment among women, and leaders like House Speaker Nancy

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