SBA initiatives have helped save small businesses

Happy New Year. I hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a safe, healthy and happy celebration!

Over the past year, we have seen America’s small businesses overcome incredible challenges —a devastating pandemic, climate disasters and other disruptions that have impacted how we live and do business. And every time, against the odds, America’s entrepreneurial spirit has come roaring back.  

As I look back at last year, I know we have much to celebrate. Under President Biden’s leadership, we have delivered critical economic relief to save countless businesses across America. In 2021, the SBA provided nearly $450 billion in relief to millions of small businesses and nonprofits across our nation, including our smallest of small businesses, our critical suppliers and manufacturers, and our beloved main street restaurants and live entertainment venues.

We have also built a more inclusive support network, launching our new Community Navigators Pilot Program, expanding our Women’s Business Centers to 140 centers — the most in the history of the SBA — and partnering with the largest-ever number of lenders to extend the SBA’s reach further and more equitably than ever.  

We couldn’t have done any of this alone. Working alongside our tireless small business advocates, dedicated lenders and all of our partners who have helped us spread the word, our team of dedicated SBA career public servants has moved mountains: 

  • Helping millions of small businesses stay afloat through the Paycheck Protection Program that has put more than $280 billion in the hands of struggling small business owners since President Biden took office — and we’ve delivered on the promise of PPP forgiveness, including for nearly 1.7 million small businesses who have used our new direct forgiveness portal to close out their loans of $150,000 or less.
  • Providing $116 billion in financial relief under COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs with $7 billion supporting more than half a million small businesses, including many from low-income communities that we helped through our retooled COVID EIDL Targeted and Supplemental Advance programs — a lifeline specifically for these hardest-hit communities who are still reeling from the pandemic.Supporting more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses with a combined $28.6 billion through the program, including $18 billion that went to women-owned, veteran-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged-owned small businesses.
  • Supporting more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage businesses with a combined $28.6 billion through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund program, including $18 billion that went to women-owned, veteran-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged-owned small businesses.
  • Disbursing $13.8 billion to nearly 13,000 live venues, theaters, and other entertainment and cultural hubs through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, with more than 90% of these grants supporting venues with fewer than 50 employees—the smallest of America’s small businesses — which has been a key priority of this Administration. 

And together we have achieved far more than pandemic relief:

  • Working with the White House, we helped deliver government contracting reforms that have opened doors for more small businesses to sell their goods and services to the world’s largest buyer: the U.S. Government. These reforms give agencies that purchase from socio-economic, underserved firms automatic credit in category management to prioritize small business contracting over bundling for large corporations. 

And for the first time ever, the SBA released disaggregated data across industries and sectors by race and ethnicity. In addition, federal agencies are now required to track and publicly report how they’re bringing in new contractors and develop strategies to diversify the small business supplier base - important steps that will increase accountability for us all.

We know the impact of America’s entrepreneurs and innovators is far-reaching, and we are excited and hopeful for the year ahead as we focus on building back better and creating more opportunities for small businesses to start, recover and grow. 

We also know we have a lot of work to do in 2022. Our nation’s small businesses and innovative startups are the engines, the heartbeat, and the giants of our economy. And the SBA will continue to transform its capital programs, networks, market access initiatives and operations in the year ahead to better support America’s entrepreneurs as we strive to become more customer-centric, tech-forward and equitable than ever.  

That work will be my highest priority as we enter a new year — a horizon filled with new opportunities and endless possibilities. And I have never been prouder to stand by your side as we ready ourselves for the year ahead.

To all the incredible small business giants of our economy and our partners who help us support you: thank you for your hard work and resilience this year, and best wishes for a prosperous 2022.

Happy New Year!

Isabella Casillas Guzman

27th Administrator

U.S. Small Business Administration


President Biden SBA Community Navigators Pilot Program Women’s Business Centers Paycheck Protection Program Economic Injury Disaster Loan Restaurant Revitalization Fund Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program White House U.S. Government Isabella Casillas

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