Biden's SBA leader visits small businesses in LA that survived pandemic, received government help

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Saturday, August 5, 2023
SBA leader visits LA small businesses that received government help
The head of the Small Business Administration visited Koreatown businesses that received help from the SBA through the pandemic.

KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Small Business Administration leader Isabella Casillas Guzman on Friday visited businesses in Koreatown that received help from the SBA throughout the pandemic and that continue to rely on the federal government to stay in business.

At a Korean BBQ restaurant, Guzman and Rep. Jimmy Gomez talked about small businesses getting access to federal money, as well as programs to help and grow small businesses.

Guzman said the Biden administration's Investing in America program is about giving small business owners access to money to help them survive.

"Small businesses obviously got huge support from the federal government, state government, local government during the pandemic to keep their doors open, keep their folks employed, but now it's about making sure that they can get affordable capital to continue to deal with challenges but also take advantage of opportunities," Guzman said.

The Knowles Karate Academy is one example of how a small business took advantage of SBA and Payment Protection Plan money to stay afloat. They say that money was their financial lifeline.

"It was crucial for us to be able to say to our students, 'Hey, if you can't pay just keep coming. Don't worry about it.' So it gave us like a little lift and it allowed us to lift our students up," co-owner Michael Knowles said.

U.S. employers added 187,000 jobs in July. The national unemployment rate is at 3.5%. A lot of those jobs were created by small businesses.

The SBA's website has all of the information people need to help start a business, access loans and grants and also mentors to help start and grow a business.