Readout on SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman’s Visit with Divine Nine Presidents

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U.S. Small Business Administrator Guzman and Presidents of Divine Nine fraternities and sororities joined together for a roundtable on Black entrepreneurship

Photos of the event are below:

Photo credit: SBA
Photo credit: SBA

WASHINGTON, June 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — On Monday, June 5, 2023, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman joined the leaders of the National Pan-Hellenic Council for a roundtable discussion on bolstering Black entrepreneurship in America. As part of the SBA’s ongoing collaboration with the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the event followed Divine Nine Day on Capitol Hill and highlighted the supplemental agreement between the SBA and the Divine Nine, which enhances the work between the two organizations and allows for new collaboration opportunities.

Administrator Guzman discussed President Biden’s Investing in America economic agenda, federal contracting opportunities, and expanding opportunities for Black entrepreneurs. In 2021, the SBA made key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program and other COVID relief programs that allowed more entrepreneurs from underserved communities to access relief. The group also discussed SBA’s recent changes to improve access to capital for small business owners from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. Together, both organizations celebrated their partnership and ongoing collaboration.   

Under the Biden Administration, the SBA has worked to advance equity and ensure the dream of business ownership for Black Americans and entrepreneurs in all communities nationwide. Through the American Rescue Plan and the equitable implementation of emergency relief programs, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Administrator Guzman have fostered the most equitable economic recovery on record. Over the last two years, Americans have applied to start 10.5 million new businesses, making 2021 and 2022 the strongest two years on record for new business applications, and with new business creation especially strong among entrepreneurs of color. The American Rescue Plan provided emergency grants, lending, and investment to hard-hit small businesses – including Black businesses – so they recover, hire, and thrive.

Participants included:

  • Isabella Casillas Guzman, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Rasheeda S. Liberty, International President – Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
  • Dr. Willis Lonzer, President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
  • Danette Anthony Reed, President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
  • Reuben Shelton, President of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Ricky Lewis, President of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
  • Elsie Cooke Holmes, President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
  • Chris Rey, President of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
  • Dr. Stacie NC Grant, President of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
  • Sean D. Housen, Sr., President of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
  • Donna Jones Anderson, President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc.

For follow-up interview requests for Administrator Guzman, please contact Mila Myles at [email protected].

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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.

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CONTACT: Mila Myles U.S. Small Business Administration [email protected] 

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