May 26, 2022

Duckworth Meets with SBA Region V Administrator Geri S. Aglipay to Discuss the Importance of Leveling Playing Field for All Illinois Business Owners


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, today held a virtual meeting with Geri Aglipay, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Region V Administrator to discuss how they’re working to help eliminate hurdles for Black, Latinx, Asian American, women and other underrepresented Illinoisans looking to form and grow their small businesses. Today’s meeting comes as Duckworth’s bipartisan Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise Act, which would reauthorize the Interagency Committee for Women’s Business Enterprise, recently passed the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

“It’s crucial that the Federal Government continues working to level the playing field for women, Veterans and entrepreneurs of color while working to strengthen the economies of Illinois communities marked by social and economic disadvantages,” said Duckworth. “We know that when we support small businesses, we are supporting families, empowering communities and creating jobs, and as we work to recover from COVID-19’s economic impact, we have to ensure that underrepresented small business owners won’t be left behind.”

Duckworth has been a consistent advocate for underrepresented entrepreneurs and for providing critical relief to businesses during the pandemic. Last week, she spoke out after Senate Republicans blocked the passage of the Small Business COVID Relief Act, legislation which would have provided critical relief to restaurants, live event venues and other small businesses, including fitness facilities as a result of the legislation including provisions of the Senator’s GYMs Act. In July, she called for more assistance for minority owned-businesses as they recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. In a letter to Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabel Guzman, Duckworth asked Guzman to use any and all available authorities to assist the more than 2,900 women-, minority- and Veteran-owned small businesses that were denied Restaurant Revitalization Fund assistance that Congress intended for them to receive.

Duckworth is also a co-sponsor of U.S. Senator and Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin (D-MD)’s Continuing Emergency Support for Restaurants Act, as well as Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s (D-AZ) Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act. Duckworth was also a co-sponsor of the RESTAURANTS Act, provisions of which were included in the American Rescue Plan.