Fed Listens

August 7, 2023

8:30 a.m. Welcome, Overview of Fed Listens
Michelle Bowman, Governor, Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Raphael Bostic, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
8:40 Panel One: Perspectives from Small Businesses
Audience Q&A
9:35 Panel Two: Perspectives from Workers and Employers
10:15 Audience Q&A
10:28 Closing Remarks

Panel 1: Perspectives from small businesses
Since the start of the pandemic, small businesses have faced a range of challenges in navigating the volatile dynamics of the pandemic recession and the subsequent recovery. And now in 2023, just as economic conditions have begun to stabilize toward pre-COVID conditions, small businesses have to deal with a tightening in credit conditions, which have a greater impact on smaller firms, who are more reliant on the banking system for their borrowing needs. In this panel, we will hear the views of small business leadership from various communities: large metro areas, mid-sized cities, and rural communities.


  • Anita Davis, Founder and President, Praxis Strategic Solutions (Atlanta, Georgia)
  • Will Ruzic, Vice President of Facilities and Operations, Provalus (Brewton, Alabama)
  • Aleia Shipman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, 3G Chemical Solutions LLC (Bessemer / Birmingham, Alabama)

Panel 2: Perspectives from workers and employers
During the pandemic, workers, particularly workers in lower-wage jobs, faced challenging decisions about health, safety, and economic security. Even in the recovery, not all workers have experienced the benefits of a tight labor market. Today, with strong monthly new jobs reports and low unemployment, many workers and job seekers still face barriers to finding a job and a career pathway for economic mobility. And although conditions have improved, employers are struggling to recruit individuals with the skills they need. This panel will feature a conversation with an employer, a worker, and a workforce intermediary to share what they have learned about these challenges and the solutions to them.


  • Keith Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Goodwill of North Georgia
  • Will Ruzic, Vice President of Facilities and Operations, Provalus
  • India Watson, Property Monitor, Kinstone Communities