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The entity works to reduce inequality. Photo: Pixabay.

SBA unveils new Equity Action Plan

The Administrator of the agency issued a statement with the new key elements of this Federal program.

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The Small Business Association (SBA) has released its new Equity Action Plan.

Through a statement by Administrator Isabel Guzmán, the SBA highlighted the historical progress it has made to address issues as sensitive as inequality and the reduction of systemic barriers faced by companies from diverse communities.

In her statement, Guzmán highlighted the importance and impact of this Plan, presented along with other programs from more than 90 federal agencies, and highlighted the efforts of the Biden-Harris Administration in search of equity.

“The SBA’s Equity Action Plan reaffirms our agency-wide commitment to breaking down longstanding barriers to ensure underserved entrepreneurs can access the capital, networks, resources, and opportunity they need to realize their American dream of business ownership,” said Guzmán.

The Plan highlights the commitment of the federal entity to defend civil rights through the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights, which seeks to work with a wide diversity of companies in the United States to guarantee that resources reach companies that actually need help.

“Alongside plans from over 90 other federal agencies, the SBA’s Equity Action Plan aims to level the playing field for all small businesses and startups, a priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, and empower them to compete in an increasingly global economy and navigate new opportunities presented by transformational legislation, such as President Biden’s Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (Bipartisan Infrastructure Law),” highlighted Guzmán.

Key Elements of the Equity Action Plan

The SBA highlighted four key actions of this new Plan:

  1. Access to capital: Access to capital will be facilitated by removing barriers and closing financial gaps through smart tools and resources. By reengineering loan programs like Community Advantage, and building strong relationships with community leaders like community development financial institutions, entrepreneurs will have greater access to federal resources.
  2. Government Contracting Opportunities: The SBA will provide additional support to government contracting programs and guide businesses seeking to self-certify as "Small Disadvantaged Business.” 
  3. Improve Access to Disaster Assistance: The Equity Action Plan will further help underserved small businesses become better equipped when facing unanticipated situations like national disasters with an increased focus on preparedness as climate change and storms intensify. Additionally, the SBA stands ready to provide these business owners with low-interest disaster loans.
  4. Access to counseling, training and business services: Outreach efforts will be doubled in diverse communities so they can access programs such as the American Rescue Plan Community Navigator Pilot Program, Women's Malls, Veterans Malls and Operations Offices as well as thousands of partners willing to provide additional resources for companies to start, grow, and navigate the challenges presented by the pandemic.

In the description of the Plan, the SBA indicates: “SBA's agency-level Equity Action Plan compiles these strategies and pulls together common threads to reduce barriers and improve service delivery across the agency. Each program office will continue to implement these strategies and monitor outcomes.”

For more information about this plan, click here.

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