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SBA Celebrates Black History Month

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SBA Celebrates Black History Month

By Marie Johns, Former Deputy Administrator
Published: February 7, 2013 Updated: February 7, 2013

In February, America celebrates and remembers the important milestones highlighted during Black History Month. Throughout our nation’s history, we have been united and inspired by the uniquely American dream that every person, with hard work and dedication, has the potential to achieve remarkable things. During Black History Month, we particularly honor these brave men and women who sacrificed and strove to achieve a better future for the coming generations—people like my grandfather, an entrepreneur and business owner whose landscaping company became one of the first African American-owned firms in Indiana to win a state contract. 

In 2013—150 years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, and a mere 50 years after thousands of Americans came together in 1963 to march for equality in Washington, D.C.—minority-owned small businesses are one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy, and an engine of opportunity for millions of hard-working men and women in our communities.

This is why, at the SBA, we are committed to supporting minority-owned small businesses and underserved communities through programs such as the Small Loan Advantage program and Community Advantage lenders, which are helping to fill market gaps in smaller dollar loans and loans to underserved communities. These programs also open up SBA loan products to new mission-based and non-profit lenders.

In his proclamation declaring February, 2013 to be Black History Month, President Obama says that “we see yesterday's visionaries in tomorrow's leaders, reminding us that while we have yet to reach the mountaintop, we cannot stop climbing.” This month, as we honor the example of ordinary citizens who fought tirelessly for equal rights and opportunities, we reaffirm our shared commitment to helping individuals across this nation achieve the promise of the American dream. 

About the Author:

Marie Johns

Former Deputy Administrator

Marie Johns is a former Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 


When cashing a Las Vegas SEO client check I noticed the ATM was celebrating black history month too. I am not sure why bankers and financiers are so quick to celebrate...
This is such an important time in our countries history it is great that the SBA touches on black history month. I wonder what Lincoln would have said if someone told him there would be a black president in 2013...I'm sure he would be proud.
This is a great article....Thank you for sharing. I think it's extremly important to remind us that there are great people in our communities who contribute a great deal no matter what race or color they are.
Inasmuch as the president is right in seeing yesterday's visionaries in tomorrow's leaders, I think there is real value for today's visionaries to hear about the struggles and successes of the past. Check out for profiles of the work and success of a black entrepreneur. Lemme know what you think. This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices ( for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.

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