READOUT: Administrator Guzman Joins Senator Mark Kelly in Arizona to Promote SBA Efforts to Build a Better America
Phoenix, AZ, Jan. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), joined Senator Mark Kelly in Arizona last week to meet with small business owners and local organizations working with the SBA’s Community Navigator Pilot Program and other initiatives that are helping more entrepreneurs access valuable public resources.
“Arizona’s small business community has shown incredible grit and resilience throughout the pandemic, many of them tapping into vital federal COVID relief through SBA as they pivoted and adapted to drive the state’s economic recovery,” said Administrator Guzman. “My thanks to Senator Kelly, whose advocacy and leadership for Arizona has brought our Community Navigator program to life, and to all of our private partners who are helping America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs connect and access the resources they need to grow and thrive, regardless of the zip code they are in. As part of this effort, we are continuing to streamline SBA programs and service as to make sure we meet our small businesses where they are and help them seize the opportunities ahead, whether that means helping them expand into e-commerce or rebuild and capitalize on improvements to America’s critical systems under President Biden’s new infrastructure law.”
Administrator Guzman kicked off her Arizona visit at Moreno’s Mexican Grill in Mesa with Senator Kelly and restaurant owner Jose Moreno. Moreno’s survived the pandemic with support through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. During that stop, Administrator Guzman met with several participants in the SBA’s new Community Navigator Pilot Program, which leverages organizations that have built trust in their local communities, to hear how they are helping businesses like Moreno’s recover from the pandemic.
“The Community Navigator Program will help Arizona small businesses cut through red tape to keep their doors open, workers on the payroll and growing into the future. I will continue to work with Republicans, Democrats, and this administration to ensure Arizona’s small businesses get the support they need to recover from this pandemic,” said Senator Kelly.
During the visit, Administrator Guzman also connected with Local First Arizona at Frances Boutique in Phoenix, AZ. Local First Arizona is a nonprofit organization committed to community and economic development throughout Arizona. While there, Administrator Guzman, Senator Kelly, and small business owners of Frances Boutique, Derek Sips, Linger Longer Lounge, and Voyce Threads and Root Salon spoke about the future of small business with the rise of e-commerce and how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will increase broadband and internet access for underserved communities across the country.
The trip marks Administrator Guzman’s first visit to Arizona since her confirmation. Since June, Administrator Guzman has visited 21 states and U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico.
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.
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