READOUT: Administrator Guzman Visits New Jersey to Discuss Historic Small Business Growth & Meet Burlington County Small Business Owners
WASHINGTON, DC– On July 8, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America's more than 33 million small businesses in President Biden's Cabinet, joined Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-3), a member of the House Committee on Small Business for her first Garden State in-person visit. Administrator Guzman and Rep. Kim held a full small business roundtable at Olga's Diner, which was able to maintain workers and keep operations running through the pandemic thanks to SBA pandemic economic aid programs such as a COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) award and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
SBA Regional Administrator Marlene Cintron, SBA New Jersey District Director John Blackstock, Evesham Township Mayor Jackie Veasy, and Councilman Eddie Freeman III also joined local small business owners, the Administrator, and Congressman Kim for the trip.
"Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and the actions of the Biden-Harris Administration, communities in New Jersey and across the country experienced a historic economic recovery with record job growth and small business creation," said Administrator Guzman. "Building on that strong foundation to help small business owners grow and succeed in today's COVID-disrupted marketplace is a top priority I share with Rep. Andy Kim, and we look forward to working together to continue to strengthen supply chains and bring costs down for entrepreneurs in New Jersey and across America so that they can focus on what they do best: creating local jobs and fueling stable economic growth."
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman (center) and Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-3) (center right) hold a Small Business Roundtable with entrepreneurs, SBA resource partners, chambers of commerce officials, and other stakeholders at Olga's Diner in Marlton, N.J.
The roundtable highlighted the positive impact that President Biden's American Rescue Plan Act has had on local economies, with the federal officials engaging in a conversation with local small business owners, small business community leaders, and local community leaders at Olga's Diner in Marlton, N.J. The eatery kept workers employed and maintained operations by utilizing the SBA funding through the American Rescue Plan's Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), in addition to other SBA programs.
Several participants also shared their individual stories with an emphasis placed on recovery from the COVID pandemic thanks to SBA resources. Programs like the Paycheck Protection Program, and COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans assisted many entrepreneurs in overcoming obstacles, allowing employees to return to work safely.
Administrator Guzman and Rep. Kim also highlighted the role that continued need for SBA to focus on equity and the importance of locally produced products to our economy, while pointing to local SBA resources that entrepreneurs can tap to help them start, grow, expand, and continue to recover. The officials pointed to some in attendance, such as New Jersey Small Business Development Center State Director Kelly Broznya, Rutgers-Camden SBDC Director Bob Palumbo, SBA Community Navigator Hub Lakewood Community Service Corporation leadership as well as New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce founder & CEO Jeff Cantor, New Jersey LGBT Chamber Executive Director Gus Penaranda, and Burlington County Regional Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Kristi Howell.
"Small businesses are the lifeblood of New Jersey's economy. As the only member of the New Jersey delegation on the Small Business Committee, I've worked hard to be a champion for our small businesses – helping more than 10,000 access valuable resources and capital to keep them afloat during the pandemic, identifying growth opportunities, and cutting bureaucratic red tape," said Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03). "I want to thank SBA Administrator Guzman for joining me this past Friday in Burlington County to hear directly from small business leaders in our community about their frustrations, aspirations, and needs. I appreciated the opportunity to show the Administrator some of the local businesses that make this community so special, and I look forward to continuing these conversations and ensuring we're doing all we can for New Jersey's small businesses."
After the roundtable concluded, Administrator Guzman and Rep. Kim toured a local Burlington County veterinarian and animal care provider, where the federal officials were able to see the determination of small business owners and their workers to succeed, even as they opened at the start of the pandemic. Administrator Guzman and Rep. Kim were able to hear about various support available from the city, county, state, and federal government for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Administrator Guzman and Rep. Andy Kim stop by a local vet and groomer on their small business tour of Burlington County this past Friday, July 8, where they made some new furry friends.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. 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.