Photo courtesy of the U.S. Small Business Administration

On July 26, U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, the voice in President Biden’s Cabinet for America’s 33 million small businesses, visited the Dallas area to highlight Bidenomics, Biden’s Investing in America economic agenda. This includes programs that support local small businesses, including the Community Navigator Pilot Program, and SBA’s collaboration with the National Pan-Hellenic Council’s nine historically Black fraternities and sororities, also known as the Divine Nine.

Guzman met with The DEC Network, part of the SBA’s Community Navigator Pilot Program launched with funds from the American Rescue Plan to extend the SBA’s reach to underserved communities. The DEC Network in Dallas is one of just 51 navigators selected nationwide to receive funding dedicated to connecting small businesses with government resources to help them start, grow and thrive.

Guzman gave opening remarks at the DEC Network’s Entrepreneur Showcase: Celebrating Success Through the Community Navigator Program, where local entrepreneurs shared their stories of success through the help of the Community Navigator Program.

During lunch visited local small business owner Brandon Hays at his restaurant, Ferris Wheeler’s Backyard & BBQ, which benefited from SBA COVID-19 relief programs. Over Texas barbeque, Guzman and Hays discussed his business journey and the state of small businesses in Texas and the United States.

The day continued at the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Conclave, where Guzman joined a discussion with General President Dr. Willis L. Lonzer III highlighting the SBA’s partnership with the Divine Nine as part of its broader engagement efforts with African American, Black, and historically disadvantaged small business owners. They also discussed Bidenomics, the SBA’s focus on equity in capital access, and future opportunities for the SBA to build upon its support for Black small business owners.

Guzman then met with the staff of the SBA’s Dallas/Fort Worth District Office and thanked them for their work, which includes conducting hundreds of outreach activities and directing over $1 billion of lending to small businesses just last year.

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