[ Article originally appeared in www.sba.gov ]
Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 32.5 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, issued the following statement highlighting the significance and impact of the SBA’s Equity Action Plan, released alongside equity plans from over 90 federal agencies as part of a coordinated effort by the Biden-Harris Administration to center equity across the federal government.
“The SBA’s Equity Action Plan reaffirms our agency-wide commitment to breaking down longstanding barriers to ensure underserved entrepreneurs can access the capital, networks, resources, and opportunity they need to realize their American dream of business ownership,” said Administrator Guzman. “Alongside plans from over 90 other federal agencies, the SBA’s Equity Action Plan aims to level the playing field for all small businesses and startups, a priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, and empower them to compete in an increasingly global economy and navigate new opportunities presented by transformational legislation, such as President Biden’s Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law).”
Among the key elements of the SBA’s Equity Action Plan being announced today:
Access to Capital: The SBA will improve access to capital, remove barriers, and bridge financial gaps through smart tools and resources, re-engineering loan programs such as Community Advantage, and building strong relationships with community leaders such as Community Development Financial Institutions, etc.
Improve Government Contracting Opportunities: Understanding that underserved small businesses need purchasing power, the SBA will put additional backing behind our government contracting programs and guide firms seeking self-certification as a Small Disadvantaged Business.
Improve Access to Disaster Assistance: The Equity Action Plan will further help underserved small businesses become better equipped when facing unanticipated situations like national disasters with an increased focus on preparedness as climate change and storms intensify. Additionally, the SBA stands ready to provide these business owners with low-interest disaster loans and help them recover from declared disasters.
Improve Access to Business Counseling, Training, and Services: The SBA will prioritize outreach efforts to underserved communities through programs such as the American Rescue Plan’s Community Navigators Pilot Program, as well as our Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, Field Operations Offices, and thousands of resource partners to provide additional resources for businesses to start, grow, pivot, and navigate challenges presented by the pandemic.
To learn more about SBA’s Equity Action Plan, please visit SBA Equity Initiative .
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.