Small Business Administration Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman told bankers today at the American Bankers Association’s Washington Summit that to help small businesses, the country needs to return to work. “It’s so critical, especially now that we have the tools, vaccinations . . . and have the science on our side in terms of what we can do to prevent COVID, that we need to return to work, that we need to help these businesses, just by getting back to normal, giving them revenue,” said Guzman.
Guzman said that her priorities with SBA are creating a “customer first, technology forward, equitable approach to design and implementation of everything that we do.” Guzman added that she wants to put an emphasis on where SBA knows small businesses need help “and that’s funding and market access, revenue opportunities and the knowledge networks.”
Since the pandemic, there has been a renaissance in small business, Guzman said, with a 30% increase in business applications since the start of the pandemic and with 5.5 million people last year deciding to start a small business. “This is a moment that SBA can level up its engagement with small business. We previously did under 60,000 loans and now there’s 11.4 million [Paycheck Protection Program] loans, and we’re now serving a much broader portfolio of sole proprietors and mom and pops, and small entities and we don’t want to go back, we want to devise plans to move us forward,” she said.