New Partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Will Help SBA Reach More Small Business Owners
by Marie Johns, Former SBA Deputy Administrator
- Created: March 22, 2012, 5:01 pm
- Updated: August 15, 2012, 11:13 am
One of SBA’s highest priorities is to provide access and opportunity to small business owners in traditionally underserved communities. President Obama, Administrator Mills, and I are committed to supporting all of our nation’s entrepreneurs, including minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities and those in rural areas. That is why we created the Advisory Council on Underserved Communities (CUC), which advises SBA on ways we can further expand our reach into these communities. Chaired by Cathy Hughes, the founder of Radio One and TV One and a former SBA borrower, the CUC provides invaluable input on everything from improving technical assistance and access to capital to expanding outreach and education. In my role as Deputy Administrator, I have the privilege of visiting small businesses on Main Streets across the country. From Anchorage to Boston and down to New Orleans, I have joined Council members for countless listening sessions with entrepreneurs and business leaders about what SBA can do to better serve their communities. Through this effort and others, we have been able to deliver tangible results.
Since President Obama took office, SBA has supported $13.5 billion in lending to underserved small businesses. We have increased the amount of capital going to these companies each year with close to half of the funding going to minority-owned small businesses in FY2011. In addition, SBA has supported over $65 billion in Federal government contracting dollars to small disadvataged firms since 2009.
Earlier this week, I hosted a meeting with the leadership of several minority trade associations from across the country to discuss what more SBA can do to help the small businesses they represent succeed. It is clear that we need to do a better job of communicating our resources to small business owners in underserved communities in order to continue to help them access the tools they need to grow and create jobs.
Minority-owned businesses are some of the fastest growing segments of the economy. In fact, the fastest growing segment in the sector is Hispanic-owned small businesses. That is why I am excited to announce that SBA has joined forces with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) to help support thousands of Hispanic small businesses and entrepreneurs grow and create more jobs. Through this collaboration, the SBA and USHCC will work with national and local Hispanic organizations to increase Hispanic-owned small business participation in SBA programs, including:
- loan programs and access to capital initiatives;
- government contracting programs like the 8(a) program and the Women-Owned Small Business Program; and
- international trade opportunities to achieve the goals of the President’s National Export Initiative.
By doing so, together we will strive to increase lending to Hispanic small businesses; increase awareness of SBA programs and services among Hispanic-owned small businesses; increase participation of small Hispanic-owned businesses in SBA’s procurement programs, with a focus on women and veterans; and increase trade opportunities for small Hispanic-owned businesses.
This partnership holds great potential. I look forward to working with Javier Palomarez and the USHCC leadership to make it a success.
About the Author
Marie Johns is a former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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