Getting to know: U.S. SBA administrator Isabella Guzman

Isabella Casillas Guzman was recently sworn in as the 27th administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. In this position, she represents the more than 30 million U.S. small businesses and is committed to helping small-business owners and entrepreneurs start, grow and be resilient.

Guzman will lead a workforce of over 9,000 SBA employees and administer the SBA’s portfolio of loans, investments, disaster assistance, contracting and counseling. Additionally, she will implement critical financial relief for small businesses impacted by the pandemic through the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program and additional support recently passed in the American Rescue Plan.

“Growing up in an entrepreneurial family, I learned firsthand the ins and outs of managing a business from my father and gained an appreciation for the challenges small-business owners face every day. Throughout my public and private sector career, I have been dedicated to helping small businesses grow and succeed,” she said. “Now more than ever, our impacted small businesses need our support, and the SBA stands ready to help them reopen and thrive.

“I am excited to return to the SBA and serve as the voice of small business in the Biden-Harris Administration. I am committed to championing the Agency’s mission and helping equitably build back the economy,” Guzman continued. “I also look forward to working with the dedicated team of SBA professionals to ensure that the SBA creates and sustains inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems for all of our diverse small businesses across the nation to thrive.”

This is Guzman’s second tenure at the SBA. She served in the Obama administration as a senior adviser and the deputy chief of staff, where she oversaw the SBA’s adoption of improved policies, technology and program initiatives to make SBA more accessible to entrepreneurs of all backgrounds.

“SBA must continue to be a lifeline for small businesses in the months ahead, and I am confident that Isabel Guzman is the best person to lead the agency out of the pandemic and through the economic recovery to follow,” said U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin. “Mrs. Guzman’s commitment to equity and her deep knowledge of the needs of small businesses will make her a strong advocate for all small businesses in the Biden Administration. I am looking forward to working with Mrs. Guzman as we in Congress work to fine-tune SBA to better meet the needs of small businesses in Black, Latino, Native and other underserved communities.”

Before rejoining SBA as administrator, Guzman was most recently director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, where she served the states 4 million small businesses. She was appointed to the post by Gov. Gavin Newsom in April 2019. In that role, she served as the voice of small businesses and innovative startups in the fifth largest economy in the world.

In that position, Guzman launched new public-private partnerships and collaborated to deliver cutting-edge resources to small businesses, including through initiatives like Get Digital CA to increase technology and e-commerce adoption and Source Diverse Source Local to strengthen supply chain readiness.

She advocated fiercely for financial relief for small businesses, leading to the expansion of state-supported lending and the largest COVID-19 grant relief program in the nation at over $2.5 billion. Guzman's office launched the Entrepreneurship Task Force to serve as a bridge to small businesses and create content and programs to help strengthen the competitiveness of startup and small firms.
Guzman earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.



Isabella Casillas Guzman SBA Biden-Harris Administration

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