HAWAII – On Friday, Feb. 9, Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice in President Biden’s cabinet for America’s more than 33 million small businesses, continued her assessment of recovery efforts six months after the devastating fires in Maui.
Administrator Guzman started the day at the local Business Recovery Center, which helps individuals whose businesses suffered property damage or economic losses due to the wildfires. There, she met with staff and discussed how the SBA is assisting economic recovery efforts for the local small business community. During her visit, she also visited the Business Resource Assessment Center (BRAC) and heard from staff, volunteers, and resource partners working in the community. This is the first BRAC established by the SBA during a disaster.
Later in the morning, Administrator Guzman traveled to the Maui Chamber of Commerce for a roundtable with Pam Tumpap, President of the Maui Chamber of Commerce, and local entrepreneurs. During the roundtable, they discussed the past six months of recovery, how businesses have been affected by the fires, and the economic future of Maui as the community charts a path forward.
Administrator Guzman then joined FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell at a recovery construction site as part of a project made possible through FEMA Disaster Relief and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarding a contract to a Native Hawaiian Organization 8(a) certified firm. Administrator Guzman highlighted the importance of more recovery contact dollars getting to local small businesses.
Administrator Guzman ended the day with Administrator Criswell and Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen for a meeting with the Mayor’s Advisory Committee. They heard from local residents who lost their homes and businesses in the fire and discussed the federal government’s role in long-term recovery efforts.
For follow-up interview requests for Administrator Guzman, please contact Rebecca Galanti at Rebecca.Galanti@sba.gov.
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, 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.