Washington, D.C.— Today, the House Small Business Committee, under Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), held a hybrid hearing with Small Business Administrator (SBA) Isabella Casillas Guzman. During the hearing, Administrator Guzman updated committee members on the status of pandemic relief programs, the challenges facing the agency, and the benefits of the Biden administration’s economic agenda for entrepreneurs.
“Small firms all across the country are in a better place thanks to the American Rescue Plan, and the economic relief programs Congress passed. The economy has added an average of 620,000 jobs per month since President Biden took office,” said Chairwoman Velázquez. “And small firms are leading the way. These figures would not have been possible without the historic relief measures that this committee put in place and the work of the SBA. And I believe that the fortunes of small businesses will continue to improve as we implement the Build Back Better agenda.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Congress has appropriated over $1 trillion in emergency relief for small businesses. SBA employees worked diligently to deliver this aid over the past 18 months, distributing more funding than it had for all other disasters in its 67-year history.
During the hearing, Administrator Guzman updated the committee on the current status of pandemic relief programs:
- Administrator Guzman testified that 96 percent of 2021 PPP loans went to small businesses with fewer than 20 employees, with an especially strong performance in low-to-moderate-income communities.
- Administrator Guzman testified that more than three out of every four loans have been forgiven, at a total of more than $610 billion.
- Administrator Guzman testified that under the COVID EIDL program, SBA has approved more than 3.8 million EIDL loans, for a total of more than $292 billion in long-term, patient capital for America’s small businesses, plus an additional $26 billion in COVID EIDL grants.
- Administrator Guzman detailed progress SBA made on improving efficiency in processing EIDL loan applications. Guzman said that SBA has accelerated daily processing from 1.86 applications to 20 per loan officer and cleared a backlog of almost 1 million loan increase and grant applications.
Administrator Guzman also detailed the progress SBA has made during her tenure to increase access to capital, federal contracting opportunities, and improve equity in SBA programs.
“Over the past eight months, the SBA has used a customer-first, technology-forward and equitable approach to successfully implement programs at scale. We have shown what we can do as a renewed, revamped agency,” said Administrator Guzman. “In the months ahead, we will continue to harness the power of the entrepreneurial spirit to drive our economy, and our nation, forward. And we will do that by ensuring that every entrepreneur in every corner of our nation can achieve their dream of small business ownership and build prosperity for their families and communities.”