MINNEAPOLIS, MN (October 20, 2020) – Managing Partner Beth Kieffer Leonard was quoted in the October issue of Entrepreneur Magazine, “Leading Women in Business” section. This article highlights how Lurie LLP’s culture of inclusive leadership, and investments in technology, helped foster an agile response to COVID-19. The rapid response and teamwork was critical to support its clients, and employees, during these unprecedented economic and social challenges of 2020.
With the talent and mindset in place, Lurie was able to rapidly respond to its clients when their businesses faced this unprecedented economic crisis. The article, in full, is repurposed here with permission. Through our media partnership, the article can also be seen in this month’s Fortune Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek publications in Minnesota.
Fueled By The Entrepreneurial Spirit
Thirty-five years ago, Beth Kieffer Leonard was a newly minted accounting associate at Lurie LLP when she began working with a client who showed her just how broad and life affirming the field could be. “My client was eager to establish a soft luggage company, and she wanted to work with a woman CPA,” recalls Leonard, today managing partner at the venerable and forward-thinking Minneapolis accounting firm.
“Back then, many women didn’t know how to access capital the way they do now,” she says. “I helped her build her company from the ground up.” With Leonard as her financial ally, the client experienced the arc of astounding success: design and manufacturing of a terrific product, endurance through two recessions, sale of the business to a third party, and, eventually, retirement.
The story is emblematic of Leonard’s and Lurie’s commitment to supporting startup businesses and bringing ideas and dreams to life. Since its founding in 1940, Lurie has prided itself on being an accounting firm that places a high value on equity and inclusion, embraces fearless leadership, and lives for opportunity.
With offices in Minneapolis and Fort Myers, Florida, Leonard says it’s been the perfect environment for her. “I have been respected and supported throughout my career. There’s a freedom of thought at Lurie that is unusual for an accounting firm; it’s one of the reasons we attract so many startups,” she says. The firm also works with legacy companies that have endured for generations. “We pride ourselves on our long-term commitment to these clients,” Leonard explains. “Every partner here feels like the steward of an incredible gift; we’re grateful for the trust our clients put in us.”
Economic First Responders
In the spring of 2020, Leonard and the entire Lurie team wasted no time in implementing an agile response to COVID-19. “We were prepared,” recalls Leonard. “We had the talent, technology, and mindset in place to respond immediately to our clients when their businesses faced this unprecedented economic crisis.” The firm quickly became the go-to source for information on economic relief opportunities — everything from loan and grant programs to the latest state and federal tax changes and regulations — that sprang up after the pandemic hit the U.S. economy.
“We’ve seen our clients through uncertain times before. We used those experiences to develop our culture. We learned it is essential to be agile as a firm, powered by data analytics and business intelligence,” says Leonard. “In our work, and with our strong relationships with our clients, this is how we stay ahead of the curve. “We have our eye on the future instead of just down the block,” she continues. “That has enabled our agility, which is a key differentiator for us, and our clients have recognized that for 80 years.”
Agile Response: Inform & Support Our Clients
In response to COVID-19, Lurie created a task force that has diligently reviewed, analyzed and summarized the most important economic relief programs at both the federal and state level. From Congressional actions such as the CARES Act, to SBA-specific guidance and resources, our team created a hub of information, webinars and other education for clients as new alerts and information became available.
The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and other government-led relief efforts, provide vital economic support to small businesses during this unprecedented and challenging time. Our team is continually updating our COVID-19 Information Hub and website with the latest information and resources available.
Read the Leading Women in Business, Minnesota Article in Entrepreneur Magazine
The following article (image below) was featured in the October 2020 Minnesota edition of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Leading Women in Business” section. Through a partnership with Advent Media Group, the article was also in the October 2020 edition of Fortune Magazine and the October 5, 2020 edition of Bloomberg Businessweek.
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