Jun 22, 2021 - Economy

Small Business Administrator: We're fixing "historic barriers" to loan access

Axios reporter Courtenay Brown and Isabel Casillas Guzman speaking.

Photo: Axios

The Small Business Administration is transforming loan programs so small businesses owned by women and people of color can better access them, Small Business Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman said at an Axios event Tuesday.

Why it matters: Guzman said there are "historic barriers that are unacceptable if we are going to recover and rebuild." The pandemic hit minority-owned businesses particularly hard.

  1. "We know that entrepreneurship rates are really high among women and people of color, and especially at that nexus point, women of color, and so we really want to make sure that we don't limit their growth potential because our nation's economic recovery depends on them accessing opportunities," Guzman said.

What to watch: "Across the board, SBA is really refocusing on how we can better create access points for its capital programs as well as its market access, our contracting programs," she said.

  • "President Biden just recently announced that he hopes to expand the goal from 5% to 15% for disadvantaged businesses accessing the federal marketplace," she added. "That is such a huge opportunity, and the SBA wants to be here to make sure that those businesses are positioned for growth, as well as for the growth in American Jobs Plan."
  • Guzman also noted that the new restaurant revitalization fund prioritized requests from minority-owned businesses and has so far distributed $27.4 billion (though the program was recently halted by litigation).

Watch the full event here.

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