SBA Administrator Guzman Visits Navajo Nation to Talk Infrastructure

The Navajo Nation hosted Administrator Isabel Guzman for her first visit to the largest reservation in the United States.

Source :

February 23, 2022

Author : Christina Cyr

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and other tribal officials met with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) leader in Window Rock, Arizona, the tribe’s capital, on Tuesday. Guzman visited the Navajo Nation to discuss how the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act can benefit Indian Country. The two laws include more than $33 billion in investments for tribes and their communities.

Recently, Guzman announced the release of the SBA’s tribal consultation policy, which includes a 10-page document that outlines how the agency will work with tribal nations, Alaska Native corporations, and Native Hawaiian organizations. 

“The SBA is committed to establishing strong nation-to-nation relationships with every tribe that seeks to engage with the federal government,” Guzman said during a press release on January 28. “We’re focused on making tribal consultation an important component of our broader tribal outreach and engagement while creating opportunities for meaningful dialogue.”

“We know this will advance our efforts to build bridges to entrepreneurs across Indian Country so that we can better connect them to the funding, market opportunities, and networks they need to start and grow,” Guzman added. “The SBA understands that supporting Native-owned small businesses is vital to our shared economic interests. We look forward to the dialogues that help inform our policy and programs to begin addressing the systemic inequities that continue to plague Indigenous peoples.”

In December, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, Jackson Brossy, was appointed as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Native American Affairs at the SBA’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

“Supporting Native-owned small businesses is vital to our shared economic future,” Brossy said on the release of the SBA’s tribal consultation policy. “And that begins with addressing the systemic inequities that continue to plague Indigenous peoples.”

The Assistant Administrator/Office of Native American Affairs will be responsible for SBA’s implementing of Executive Order 13175 and leading and coordinating tribal consultations for the Agency. The implementation will be accomplished by developing an information package for prospective tribal consultation participants, designing the consultation princess, selecting appropriate meeting sites, providing notice to tribal governments, and identifying the participants in the consultation process.

According to their website, about 4,000 Native entrepreneurs are engaged in federal procurement, and the SBA aims to bring that number up by strengthening business development programs such as 8a and HubZone.

According to a progress report published in January, Guzman has pushed for $700 million to support Native businesses and Native entrepreneurs since last March.

Category : Tribally Designated Entity Entrepreneurialism Small Business Administration Procurement

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