One Year Later: Biden-Harris Administration, SBA Have Prioritized an Equitable Recovery, Centered on Strengthening Main Street and Supply Chains


In the past year under the Biden-Harris Administration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continued scaling up to meet extraordinary challenges and deliver remarkable results for small businesses across America. Despite the odds, President Biden’s leadership has added 6.4 million jobs – the most in any year in U.S. history – and managed the fastest growing economy in decades while cutting unemployment to near historic lows.

Under Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, the SBA has undertaken a monumental task – saving the small business economy and preserving the jobs and livelihoods of millions. From Main Street to Broadway, manufacturers to Mom-and-Pops, thousands of civil servants played a critical role in getting small businesses (who employ half of the private workforce, create two-thirds of net new jobs, and generate 40 percent of America’s economic productivity) back on their feet, and the work continues. A look back at the SBA’s accomplishments and efforts showcases the tremendous good the federal government can do on behalf of the American people.


Focused on helping the hardest-hit, underserved small businesses survive, the SBA saved jobs across America, while expanding its core capital and technical assistance programs. Using a two-pronged strategy of encouraging COVID safety precautions, including vaccinations, as critical to safely reopening, while distributing billions of dollars to struggling small business owners, the SBA has been instrumental in the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to fight the pandemic and successfully bring the economy back from the brink of collapse.

Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and other critical federally funded relief programs, the Biden-Harris Administration’s SBA delivered nearly $450 billion in relief to over six million impacted small businesses and nonprofits, including the smallest of small businesses, our critical suppliers, and manufacturers, main street restaurants and live entertainment venues. Since President Biden took office:

  • The SBA supported small businesses in all 50 states, every territory, and Washington D.C. through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (approx. $28.5 billion to over 100,000 businesses), Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (approx. $14 billion to nearly 13,000 businesses and nonprofits), the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program (approx. $125 billion to over 650,000 businesses and nonprofits), the COVID EIDL Targeted and Supplemental Advance programs (approx. $7 billion combined to nearly 600,000 businesses), and the Paycheck Protection Program (approx. $280 billion to 5.6 million businesses). And the SBA is delivering on its promise of forgiveness as nearly 1.7 million small businesses with PPP loans of less than $150,000 have received relief through the SBA’s new direct forgiveness portal.
  • While work remains to close capital gaps, the SBA’s core lending programs provided $44.8 billion in funding to small businesses in fiscal year (FY) 2021 through more than 61,000 loans.
  • Additionally, Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) provided over $7 billion in long-term funding to more than 1,000 small businesses helping to start, grow, and sustain small businesses and startups across 49 states and Puerto Rico in fiscal year (FY) 2021. The SBA also helped expand the ecosystem of organizations by connecting small business startups to private capital sources and spurring innovation through award funding and competitive prizes across the country.
  • And as climate change has driven more frequent and devasting natural disasters, the Agency’s tireless disaster assistance team responded by delivering nearly $2.3 billion to help small businesses, renters, and homeowners rebuild and recover.



From every corner of the United States, the SBA met small business owners and advocates where they were, to hear their concerns and improve its offerings. Whether through moving technical assistance trainings and activities online to help small businesses stay connected and informed during the pandemic or touring and shining a light on their businesses and the importance of supporting small as we safely reopened, the SBA was there every step of the way. By the numbers:

  • More than 60,000 participants, in total, directly engaged during 2021 National Small Business Week (NSBW), National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW), and the Inaugural Innovation Ecosystem Summit.
  • Hosted over 66,000 virtual and in-person events to counsel small business owners and advocates on navigating government resources, programs, and networks.
  • Engaged over 1,000 organizations and advocates – such as diversity chambers, trade associations, and small business affinity groups – across the country, with a collective reach of at least 11 million.
  • Expanded to 140 Women’s Business Centers – the most in the Agency’s history - and 22 Veterans Business Outreach Centers to provide extensive-on-the-ground expertise, in addition to 68 district offices and over 1,000 resource partners centers.
  • Launched the ARP’s $100 million Community Navigator Pilot Program with 51 navigators and hundreds of hyper-local, spoke organizations deeply embedded in their communities to make it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to access our most vital resources, no matter where they live.
  • And Administrator Guzman has traveled to 22 states and Puerto Rico, visited 41 cities, given nearly 100 national, local, and coalitions media interviews, and delivered 133 speeches to hear from - and speak directly with - small business owners.


With an intent to reach underserved, under-resourced communities, the SBA has centered equity in all its work and enhanced its services and programs to better meet the unique needs of America’s 32.5 million small businesses.

  • Advancing Equity Has Permeated Every Aspect of the SBA: Led by various teams, such as the Offices of Capital Access and Government Contracting and Business Development, the agency funded small businesses across key demographic groups, including rural Americans ($58 billion+), Black and African Americans ($17 billion+), Hispanics and Latinos ($15 billion+), Native Americans ($699 million+), and Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders ($23 billion+).
  • Opening Doors Through New Reforms: For the first time, the SBA released disaggregated data across industries and sectors by race and ethnicity and helped deliver contracting reforms that will require federal agencies to track and publicly report how they’re bringing in new contractors, develop diversification strategies, and open doors for more socio-economic, underserved firms to sell their goods and services to the world’s largest buyer: the U.S. Government.
  • Distributed $15.2 billion in critical RRF relief aid to women-owned ($7.5 billion), veteran-owned ($1 billion), and socially and economically disadvantaged-owned ($6.7 billion) small businesses.
  • In low-income communities, over 600,000 small businesses received a lifeline of up to $15,000 in relief grants through the COVID EIDL Targeted and Supplemental Advance programs, while 22 percent of PPP loans went to those in rural areas.
  • Elevating Critical Constituencies: Recognizing the importance of the over 12 million women entrepreneurs – the fastest-growing segment of the business community, Administrator Guzman elevated the Office of Women’s Business Ownership to report directly to her office.
  • Prioritizing the Smallest of the Small: In 2021, 96 percent of PPP loans went to firms of 20 employees or less, while more than 90 percent of SVOG funds supported venues with fewer than 50 employees. On top of this work, nearly 1.7 million small businesses with PPP loans of less than $150,000 have received relief through the SBA’s new direct forgiveness portal.
  • In addition to the Community Navigator Pilot Program, Administrator Guzman reconvened the Council on Underserved Communities to advise her on critical and nuanced policy matters.


As our entrepreneurs’ needs change, the SBA will continue to evolve and grow with them. Now more than ever, small business owners face increasingly complex challenges that threaten their longevity and success. As Administrator Guzman always says, helping small business owners navigate new risks (and opportunities) -- from the increasing gaps in capital access to the rising threats of climate change-induced natural disasters -- will require the SBA to be as entrepreneurial and creative as the customers we serve. That means:

  • Getting emergency economic relief into the hands of those still struggling to rebuild, despite our progress, by continuing to process Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Targeted EIDL Advance program applications and delivering on the promise of PPP forgiveness.
  • Working with the White House and our sister agencies to equitably unlock procurement opportunities for our small manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers to do business with the federal government including ensuring that our small businesses can help build and innovate to deliver the historic investments in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
  • Alongside the ongoing work to help strengthen supply chain resilience, the SBA will stand up a brand-new effort through its Office of Government Contracting and Business Development focused on delivering President Biden’s promise of “Made in America, Buy American.
  • Protecting the basic right to vote for all Americans who support our small businesses - and the communities in which they exist and contribute to. As the first federal agency to request designation as a voter agency, through the SBA’s district offices, small business owners and others will have the services they need to ensure their voices are heard at the ballot box and fair representation for their communities.
  • Exploring and advocating for new ventures, such as expanded direct lending, to better serve our customers who face daunting obstacles and barriers of entry to opportunities and resources needed to thrive. With a proven track record of direct lending success through our emergency disaster loan programs, the SBA is uniquely positioned to close the gaps in accessing capital for our most underserved communities, which continue to exist.
  • Innovating and enhancing traditional products. To help our small businesses leverage an increasingly interconnected global market and booming e-commerce sector, the SBA is exploring new public-private partnerships to get resources and tools to more small businesses and better position them for future success.

Building on the changes we made in 2021 to implement a customer-first, technology-forward, equitable approach, the SBA is strongly positioned to deliver on President Biden’s commitment to equity in 2022. Under Administrator Guzman’s decisive leadership, the SBA will continue to meet our small businesses and entrepreneurs where they are and provide them with the capital, opportunities, knowledge, and networks to start and grow their American dream and build resilience – regardless of demographic. And as our nation continues to build upon a historically strong economic recovery, we will be shifting our focus from emergency COVID relief support to long-term investments that will help lower costs for small business owners and reduce long-run inflationary pressures that families feel at home.

The face of entrepreneurship is changing. We need all our nation’s 32.5 million small businesses and innovative startups to have access to the SBA’s critical federal resources to help ensure that great ideas from everywhere and anywhere can launch and thrive. Now more than ever, the SBA stands ready to help our nation’s entrepreneurs pivot and grow in the face of any challenge, seize new opportunities, and make sure the dream of starting a small business is in reach for every American.


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