RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Vice President Kamala Harris spoke about the Biden Administration's commitment to small businesses on Monday.
She landed at Raleigh-Durham International Airport around noon and headed to Fletcher Auditorium at Duke Energy Center to talk about the role of small business owners in the American economy.
"They are not only business leaders, they are community leaders, they are civic leaders, they are role models," Harris said.
She also stressed the importance of community banks in helping small business owners get what they need.
"They sit down and take the time because they understand the value of the person that is sitting across that desk in terms of who they are in the community and what they can bring to the community," Harris added.
WATCH: Harris' full talk at Fletcher Auditorium
Harris stressed the importance of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which you may know by another name: credit unions. She said the Biden administration was taking extra efforts to invest in CDFIs -- investments she believes quickly find their way into local communities.
"What's the money is going to do? We're going to be able to provide 1 million loans in the life of this loan that the administration has given us to provide $30 billion in loans that we can provide to the community," Vicky Garcia with Latino Community Credit Union said.
On Harris' way back to the airport after her event at Duke Energy Center, she stopped at Panadería Artesanal, a Latina-owned bakery in Raleigh. It is owned by Jessica Karina Barahora and employs 17 additional staff members. Barahora began the business with a loan from the Latino Community Credit Union, which she used to purchase the vehicle out of which she ran the business until it became profitable enough to rent its current brick-and-mortar storefront.
"I also very much agree with Madam Vice President when she said that this is a great time to start a business, and my clients are proving that every single day," Panadería Artesanal owner Yesenia Polanco said. "I had a mentor tell me one time, 'Do you know what's on the other side of fear? Money!' Money is on the other side of fear, and I'll always remember that."
Harris was initially supposed to be in Durham on Friday to talk about the administration's investments in small businesses, but because of the mass shootings in California, Harris' trip was postponed.