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Source : Flickr
March 23, 2021
Author : Alex Bustillos
In an interview on Friday with the Associated Press, newly-confirmed head of the Small Business Administration, Isabel Guzman, told the outlet that the United States has lost 400,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic.
For the purposes of this article, we will consider the “start of the pandemic” to be March 11, 2020 when the World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus to be a pandemic.
There were 373 days — just more than a year — between March 11 and Guzman’s interview with the Associated Press on Friday. So if 400,000 businesses have closed during the pandemic, the average is more than 1,072 businesses closing per day.
“Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, I learned firsthand the ins and outs of managing a business from my father and gained an appreciation for the challenges small business owners face every day,” Guzman said in the press release from the Small Business Administration announcing her March 16 confirmation.
“Now more than ever, our impacted small businesses need our support, and the SBA stands ready to help them reopen and thrive,” she said.
As Contractor News previously reported, Guzman served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Administrator at the SBA from 2014 to 2017.
“I am excited to return to the SBA and serve as the voice of small business in the Biden-Harris Administration,” she said. “I am committed to championing the Agency’s mission and helping equitably build back the economy. I also look forward to working with the dedicated team of SBA professionals to ensure that the SBA creates and sustains inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems for all of our diverse small businesses across the nation to thrive.”
In her interview with AP, Guzman touted the new stimulus package as a means of addressing the problems faced by struggling businesses. In addition to its allocation of $10 billion to support state government loans to businesses, the stimulus gives more money to the Payment Protection Program and $28 billion for grants to restaurants which have been one of the hardest-hit sectors in the U.S. economy. As we have previously reported, one in six restaurants have closed down.
Additionally $100 million has been put towards a new program, the “Community Navigator,” which is intended to give advice and education to business owners impacted by the pandemic.
According to AP, the Community Navigator will gather information to help the SBA figure out where to target its policies and will work with community financial institutions and small business development centers.
“That will provide us with a strong feedback loop from small businesses about what their needs are,” Guzman told AP.
Image via Flickr.