MONROVIA, Calif. (KABC) -- Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday visited the Dream Big Children's Center in Monrovia to highlight the Biden administration's efforts to address inflation and support economic recovery for small businesses.
"I'm here to highlight the importance of our small businesses because they do this out of love, out of concern and being a member of the community," Harris said.
The center is where children diagnosed with autism can receive behavioral therapy. It has more than 150 employees, but it suffered economic hardship during the pandemic.
"These families are really relying on us as providers to be here for their children and to give them the therapy that they really need," said Cristina Cordeiro, owner of Dream Big Children's Center. "So when the pandemic first hit it was really important for us to keep our doors open."
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To keep the doors open the Small Business Administration provided help: $450 billion in emergency relief to more than 6 million small businesses.
"We've seen a small business boom and at the same time we've seen businesses have to really pivot and adapt, and struggle through to survive, and so SBA has really been the fail-safe for so many of them, saving millions of businesses," said Isabel Guzman, head of the SBA.
President Joe Biden, Harris and local leaders formally opened the Ninth Summit of the Americas Wednesday in downtown Los Angeles, calling the gathering an opportunity to build economies across the Western Hemisphere and create a "prosperous and inclusive future."
Harris, who has been in the Los Angeles area since Friday, made multiple appearances Wednesday at summit-related events.
City News Service contributed to this report.