Who is Isabel Guzman – Biden's pick to head Small Business Administration


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Who is Isabel Guzman?

Isabel Guzman ( Isabella Casillas Guzman in full) is the director of the Office of the Small Business Advocate of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development in California. President-elect Joe Biden announced Guzman was his nominee for administrator of the Small Business Administration on January 7, 2021, Ballotpedia noted.

Isabel Guzman's career

Guzman's LinkedIn profile further says she's an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of Business, Inc noted.

A lifelong proponent of small businesses, Guzman grew up as the daughter of a small business owner and served within the Obama-Biden Administration as Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor in the U.S. Small Business Administration.

In her current role, Guzman helps connect entrepreneurs in every community with the resources and capital needed for success, and supports small businesses to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. She serves as the voice of small businesses and innovative startups to help them access capital, markets and networks. In addition to overseeing a network of small business centers, Guzman’s office has launched the Shop Safe Shop Local initiative aimed at helping small businesses reopen safely, and its Get Digital CA initiative to help businesses adopt technology to safely and successfully operate in the pandemic.

Prior to her career in public service, Guzman was a small business entrepreneur herself, an advisor to fellow founders, and an advisor at ProAmérica Bank, the first California- chartered Latino-formed business bank to form in Los Angeles in over 35 years.. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

Guzman served as a deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to the administrator at the SBA during the Obama administration, and has run her own small businesses.

Since April 2019, she’s been director of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate, part of that state’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Before working at the SBA Guzman was a director of strategic initiatives at ProAmerica Bank, a commercial bank that serviced small and mid-sized businesses, according to her LinkedIn biography. ProAmerica was acquired by Pacific Commerce Bancorp in 2018, Bloomberg listed.

Actions against COVID-19

As the pandemic continues, Guzman and her team are helping small businesses adapt to the “new normal” and connecting them to resources and local advisors. In response to COVID, the Shop Safe Shop Local initiative has provided information on reopening safely, including guidance on how to protect employees, clients and their businesses as well as tools to expand their online presence.

“Isabella is one of the most dedicated individuals I’ve ever met when it comes to fighting for small businesses and really — just the level of professionalism, there’s no comparison,” said Kaitlin Lewis, GO-Biz assistant deputy director for communications. “She works tirelessly to ensure that small businesses have a voice and that their challenges are a priority as we all work to safely recover from the COVID-19 induced recession.”

This daughter of a small business owner has used her life and professional experiences to ensure that small businesses across California not only survive but succeed.

Biden's pick to be Agency Executive of Small Business Administration

In a bid to help small businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, President-elect Joe Biden is set to nominate Isabel Guzman to head Small Business Association, an agency that has taken on an outsize role in helping disseminate Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Reports have emerged from outlets including NBC News and The Wall Street Journal that Biden intends to nominate Isabel Guzman, currently director, Office of the Small Business Advocate for California to head the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Who is Isabel Guzman – Biden's pick to head Small Business Administration
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According to her LinkedIn page, Guzman’s prior experience includes a three-year stint as the SBA’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Administrator from 2014 to 2017 and an emphasis on advising entrepreneurs, launching ventures, helping small businesses navigate the federal government and creating policies and programs to help advance entrepreneurship and innovation.”, Marketingedge reported.

Guzman is the first Latina to be nominated for a position in Biden’s Cabinet.

Small Business Administration's challenges ahead

Ms. Guzman has been a member of Mr. Biden’s transition team for the Small Business Administration, which has given her an inside view the past few weeks of the agency’s operations and its challenges.

The organization has traditionally been a government backwater, with one of the smallest budgets and permanent staffs of any cabinet-level agency. But during the pandemic, it has been thrust into a central role in federal economic relief efforts, overseeing two loan programs that are on track to disburse more than $1 trillion.

Who is Isabel Guzman – Biden's pick to head Small Business Administration
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The agency has long been one of the government’s primary financial responders during disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and tornadoes, and its size and responsibilities swelled in the wake of catastrophes like Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 recession. The pandemic, though, has radically expanded its role in ways likely to permanently alter the agency’s scope and structure.

Simply managing the aftermath of the Paycheck Protection Program — which is expected to make more than $800 billion in forgivable loans, issued by banks but backed by the government — will require years of audits and oversight.

The new administrator will also have to grapple with the agency’s expanded portfolio of disaster loans, which are made directly by the government. The agency has lent nearly $195 billion since the coronavirus crisis began — far more money than it had previously lent out in its nearly 70 year history — and those loans have a repayment period that can stretch for up to 30 years, Nytimes expressed.

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