January 21, 2021

Duckworth Meets with President Biden’s SBA Administrator Nominee Isabel Guzman


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, held a virtual meeting with Isabel Guzman, President Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Small Business Administration as Administrator. Duckworth and Guzman discussed their shared priorities, such as supporting small businesses, expanding the Microloan program and improving the Paycheck Protection Program. Duckworth also raised the importance of re-starting the ONBOARD Initiative, which was shuttered by the Trump Administration. The ONBOARD Initiative was one of the first of its kind in the public sector to advance the pipeline of individuals from underrepresented communities into business leadership roles and build a mission to address the gender and racial inequalities currently present in the boardrooms of American small businesses.

“Throughout this pandemic, I’ve spoken with small business owners across Illinois about the challenges they are facing just to keep the doors open,” said Duckworth. “If confirmed, Isabel Guzman’s proven leadership and personal experience as a small businesses owner will help her support those who need it most right now. I look forward to working with her to ensure all small businesses—including minority-owned, women-owned and Veteran-owned—have the resources and funding they need to not only survive, but to thrive during this pandemic and beyond.”

Duckworth has long supported SBA’s Microloan program and key provisions of her Microloan Program Expansion Act were included in the bipartisan COVID-19 relief deal and omnibus agreement. The final agreement included Duckworth-led proposals to provide the SBA Microloan Program with $50 million for technical assistance to small businesses, and funds that will leverage $64 million in direct, low-cost loans for small businesses struggling to weather the current economic crisis.

Duckworth also cosponsored legislation calling for a second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and expanded eligibility for nonprofits. The final agreement included more than $284 billion to replenish the PPP for both first and second round forgivable loans, expansions in eligibility for nonprofits and funding directly dedicated live venues, movie theaters and cultural institutions.