Small Business Administration Chief Visits Indian Country
Monday, February 21, 2022
Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman will meet Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and other tribal officials on Tuesday. The tour takes place in Window Rock, Arizona, which serves as the tribe’s capital. According to the SBA, Guzman is expected to discuss how the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, can benefit Indian Country. The two laws, which were signed into law by Congress as part of President Joe Biden’s national agenda, include more than $33 billion in investments for tribes and their communities.
This week, I signed the 2022 SBA Tribal Consultation Policy, which directs the SBA’s coordination with tribal governments and ensures that small businesses in tribal communities can equitably benefit from government resources. pic.twitter.com/g3XHHlLcxB
— Isabel Guzman (@SBAIsabel) January 28, 2022
The SBA includes a Native American Affairs Office at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Jackson Brossy, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, came on board as Assistant Indigenous Program Administrator in December. “Supporting small, Native-owned businesses is critical to our shared economic future,” Brossy said when releasing the SBA’s Tribal Consultation Policy. “And that starts with addressing the systemic inequalities that continue to plague Indigenous peoples. ” Last March, Guzman was confirmed as the 27th SBA Administrator. Since its arrival, the agency has provided approximately $700 million in support to Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs, according to progress report released January 20, the anniversary of Biden’s inauguration as president. In addition, the SBA recently relaunched the Underserved Communities Council advising the SBA on ways to help socially, economically and geographically disadvantaged small business owners. The committee includes Veronica Maturino, CEO of Our Native American Trade Network; and Chris James, President and CEO of National Center for Native American Business Development. The agency is best known for its work in the area of federal contracts. the Program 8(a) was designed to help tribal and native-owned businesses secure contracts with the U.S. government. “The SBA is committed and positioned to truly support Indigenous-owned businesses,” Guzman said during a orientation panel on labor and economic development to White House Tribal Nations Summit last November. “As part of the president’s vision to try to ensure that our ecosystems are built equitably, the SBA is trying to design programs — at the beginning — with all of our entrepreneurs in mind.”