I’m incredibly excited to announce Alyssa Harvey Dawson as our Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel. There has never been a more important time to advocate for small businesses, and I’m looking forward to working with Alyssa in scaling Gusto and continuing our efforts to serve small businesses with the people platform.

There are a number of reasons why small business owners go into business for themselves—to pursue their passions, call their own shots, generate new income, and set the values that underpin their own company cultures. Yet, time and time again, when I talk to small business owners—no matter the industry they’re in or the scale of their operation—there’s one source of motivation that connects them all and soars above the rest: to offer something that’s useful. Small business owners want to solve a problem in their communities. They want to provide something of value, be proud of how they do it, and create jobs along the way.

It’s a feeling I know firsthand as a founder: to create a company from the ground up that I’m deeply proud of—where the work we do empowers a better life for the customers we serve. That’s why we’re so determined to change the status quo and support the innovators and entrepreneurs who keep small business going in this country, so they can serve their customers and become durable companies themselves. But right now small businesses are under unprecedented strain. They’re being stretched in every imaginable direction and are needing to make difficult decisions at every turn. 

Small businesses have a big impact on our communities, society, and the economy at large. But, historically, they’ve been underserved and overlooked. Gusto is a people platform that exists to serve and support small businesses for the long term. We aren’t just a technology small businesses use. We are a partner they trust. And that has never been more true or important than now.

Over the past few months, our team has doubled down on our commitment to enable the longevity and success of small businesses with more than 50+ features launched to guide them through all of the uncertainty and complexity of the COVID era, from supporting new emergency paid leave laws and accessing federal tax credits, to a dedicated Small Business COVID-19 Resource Hub and PPP loan forgiveness tracker. Through partnerships with community banks and fintechs, we’ve created a lending launchpad for small businesses, helping them secure nearly $2.5 billion so far in approved aid. And we know that this is not enough. There is more we can and will be doing.

Beyond the technology we built, Gusto is committed to using our platform for change. And Alyssa’s experience and drive will be vital as Gusto continues to advocate on behalf of small businesses, ensuring their voices are amplified and they have a seat at the table on the important issues that affect them.

Alyssa has built world-class legal and advocacy programs at leading technology companies, from her work addressing urban planning and infrastructure challenges as General Counsel at Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs to the strategic advice and counsel she brought to the streaming media technology partnerships at Netflix as Associate General Counsel. She has a business builder mindset, a track record of building effective teams, and is a leader that I’m looking forward to learning from.

She has a service mindset, which enables her to create meaningful change by solving the complex problems of the customers she helps, and Alyssa is a strong advocate for safeguarding the data privacy of customers. She shares Gusto’s belief in the need for companies to operate as custodians of data instead of data owners. In summary, as Alyssa said herself in her own post:

“When I think about what drives me, it’s creating opportunities to empower and lift people up to arrive at their full potential. And that’s the mindset I see in action at Gusto: tackling the tough stuff to pave the way for others, so that they’re set up to succeed for the long term.” 

We want small businesses to know we’re not just there to run their payroll, or manage their health benefits, or help them onboard a new employee. We’re here to help them navigate choppy waters and weather the storm through whatever challenges their business might face. Gusto’s commitment to small businesses is unwavering, and I’m proud of our platform and our people as we continue to tackle important issues for small businesses so that we ensure not just their survival, but their success. We are still early in this journey, and we have much work ahead.

With Gusto,


Joshua Reeves Josh is the CEO and co-founder of Gusto, a startup that’s reimagining HR, payroll, and benefits for modern companies. Josh believes in the power of software to solve complex problems. Follow Josh on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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