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NEWS
January 25, 2022
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West today reminded small nonfarm businesses in 16 Texas counties and neighboring counties in Oklahoma of the Feb. 24, 2022, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury. These low-interest loans are to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the winter storm, blizzard, snow, ice and high winds in the following primary counties that occurred Feb. 10-19, 2021. Primary Texas counties:  Clay, Coleman and Jack; Neighboring Texas counties:  Archer, Brown, Callahan, Concho, McCulloch, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Runnels, Taylor, Wichita, Wise and Young; Neighboring Oklahoma counties:  Cotton and Jefferson. According to Garfield, small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. “Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact,” said Garfield. “SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage,” Garfield added. The interest rate is 3 percent for businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on June 24, 2021. Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155. ### About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
NEWS
January 21, 2022
In the past year under the Biden-Harris Administration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continued scaling up to meet extraordinary challenges and deliver remarkable results for small businesses across America. Despite the odds, President Biden’s leadership has added 6.4 million jobs – the most in any year in U.S. history – and managed the fastest growing economy in decades while cutting unemployment to near historic lows. Under Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, the SBA has undertaken a monumental task – saving the small business economy and preserving the jobs and livelihoods of millions. From Main Street to Broadway, manufacturers to Mom-and-Pops, thousands of civil servants played a critical role in getting small businesses (who employ half of the private workforce, create two-thirds of net new jobs, and generate 40 percent of America’s economic productivity) back on their feet, and the work continues. A look back at the SBA’s accomplishments and efforts showcases the tremendous good the federal government can do on behalf of the American people. THE SBA PUNCHED ABOVE ITS WEIGHT IN AN UNPRECEDENTED YEAR: Focused on helping the hardest-hit, underserved small businesses survive, the SBA saved jobs across America, while expanding its core capital and technical assistance programs. Using a two-pronged strategy of encouraging COVID safety precautions, including vaccinations, as critical to safely reopening, while distributing billions of dollars to struggling small business owners, the SBA has been instrumental in the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to fight the pandemic and successfully bring the economy back from the brink of collapse. Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and other critical federally funded relief programs, the Biden-Harris Administration’s SBA delivered nearly $450 billion in relief to over six million impacted small businesses and nonprofits, including the smallest of small businesses, our critical suppliers, and manufacturers, main street restaurants and live entertainment venues. Since President Biden took office: The SBA supported small businesses in all 50 states, every territory, and Washington D.C. through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (approx. $28.5 billion to over 100,000 businesses), Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (approx. $14 billion to nearly 13,000 businesses and nonprofits), the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program (approx. $125 billion to over 650,000 businesses and nonprofits), the COVID EIDL Targeted and Supplemental Advance programs (approx. $7 billion combined to nearly 600,000 businesses), and the Paycheck Protection Program (approx. $280 billion to 5.6 million businesses). And the SBA is delivering on its promise of forgiveness as nearly 1.7 million small businesses with PPP loans of less than $150,000 have received relief through the SBA’s new direct forgiveness portal. While work remains to close capital gaps, the SBA’s core lending programs provided $44.8 billion in funding to small businesses in fiscal year (FY) 2021 through more than 61,000 loans. Additionally, Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs) provided over $7 billion in long-term funding to more than 1,000 small businesses helping to start, grow, and sustain small businesses and startups across 49 states and Puerto Rico in fiscal year (FY) 2021. The SBA also helped expand the ecosystem of organizations by connecting small business startups to private capital sources and spurring innovation through award funding and competitive prizes across the country. And as climate change has driven more frequent and devasting natural disasters, the Agency’s tireless disaster assistance team responded by delivering nearly $2.3 billion to help small businesses, renters, and homeowners rebuild and recover.   DEEPENED OUR COMMUNITY INVESTMENTS AND RELATIONSHIPS: From every corner of the United States, the SBA met small business owners and advocates where they were, to hear their concerns and improve its offerings. Whether through moving technical assistance trainings and activities online to help small businesses stay connected and informed during the pandemic or touring and shining a light on their businesses and the importance of supporting small as we safely reopened, the SBA was there every step of the way. By the numbers: More than 60,000 participants, in total, directly engaged during 2021 National Small Business Week (NSBW), National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW), and the Inaugural Innovation Ecosystem Summit. Hosted over 66,000 virtual and in-person events to counsel small business owners and advocates on navigating government resources, programs, and networks. Engaged over 1,000 organizations and advocates – such as diversity chambers, trade associations, and small business affinity groups – across the country, with a collective reach of at least 11 million. Expanded to 140 Women’s Business Centers – the most in the Agency’s history - and 22 Veterans Business Outreach Centers to provide extensive-on-the-ground expertise, in addition to 68 district offices and over 1,000 resource partners centers. Launched the ARP’s $100 million Community Navigator Pilot Program with 51 navigators and hundreds of hyper-local, spoke organizations deeply embedded in their communities to make it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to access our most vital resources, no matter where they live. And Administrator Guzman has traveled to 22 states and Puerto Rico, visited 41 cities, given nearly 100 national, local, and coalitions media interviews, and delivered 133 speeches to hear from - and speak directly with - small business owners.   EXECUTED ON PRESIDENT BIDEN AND ADMINISTRATOR GUZMAN’S EQUITY GOALS: With an intent to reach underserved, under-resourced communities, the SBA has centered equity in all its work and enhanced its services and programs to better meet the unique needs of America’s 32.5 million small businesses. Advancing Equity Has Permeated Every Aspect of the SBA: Led by various teams, such as the Offices of Capital Access and Government Contracting and Business Development, the agency funded small businesses across key demographic groups, including rural Americans ($58 billion+), Black and African Americans ($17 billion+), Hispanics and Latinos ($15 billion+), Native Americans ($699 million+), and Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders ($23 billion+). Opening Doors Through New Reforms: For the first time, the SBA released disaggregated data across industries and sectors by race and ethnicity and helped deliver contracting reforms that will require federal agencies to track and publicly report how they’re bringing in new contractors, develop diversification strategies, and open doors for more socio-economic, underserved firms to sell their goods and services to the world’s largest buyer: the U.S. Government. Distributed $15.2 billion in critical RRF relief aid to women-owned ($7.5 billion), veteran-owned ($1 billion), and socially and economically disadvantaged-owned ($6.7 billion) small businesses. In low-income communities, over 600,000 small businesses received a lifeline of up to $15,000 in relief grants through the COVID EIDL Targeted and Supplemental Advance programs, while 22 percent of PPP loans went to those in rural areas. Elevating Critical Constituencies: Recognizing the importance of the over 12 million women entrepreneurs – the fastest-growing segment of the business community, Administrator Guzman elevated the Office of Women’s Business Ownership to report directly to her office. Prioritizing the Smallest of the Small: In 2021, 96 percent of PPP loans went to firms of 20 employees or less, while more than 90 percent of SVOG funds supported venues with fewer than 50 employees. On top of this work, nearly 1.7 million small businesses with PPP loans of less than $150,000 have received relief through the SBA’s new direct forgiveness portal. In addition to the Community Navigator Pilot Program, Administrator Guzman reconvened the Council on Underserved Communities to advise her on critical and nuanced policy matters.   THE SBA OF THE FUTURE AND WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE GIANTS OF THE ECONOMY: As our entrepreneurs’ needs change, the SBA will continue to evolve and grow with them. Now more than ever, small business owners face increasingly complex challenges that threaten their longevity and success. As Administrator Guzman always says, helping small business owners navigate new risks (and opportunities) -- from the increasing gaps in capital access to the rising threats of climate change-induced natural disasters -- will require the SBA to be as entrepreneurial and creative as the customers we serve. That means: Getting emergency economic relief into the hands of those still struggling to rebuild, despite our progress, by continuing to process Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Targeted EIDL Advance program applications and delivering on the promise of PPP forgiveness. Working with the White House and our sister agencies to equitably unlock procurement opportunities for our small manufacturers, suppliers, and service providers to do business with the federal government including ensuring that our small businesses can help build and innovate to deliver the historic investments in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Alongside the ongoing work to help strengthen supply chain resilience, the SBA will stand up a brand-new effort through its Office of Government Contracting and Business Development focused on delivering President Biden’s promise of “Made in America, Buy American”. Protecting the basic right to vote for all Americans who support our small businesses - and the communities in which they exist and contribute to. As the first federal agency to request designation as a voter agency, through the SBA’s district offices, small business owners and others will have the services they need to ensure their voices are heard at the ballot box and fair representation for their communities. Exploring and advocating for new ventures, such as expanded direct lending, to better serve our customers who face daunting obstacles and barriers of entry to opportunities and resources needed to thrive. With a proven track record of direct lending success through our emergency disaster loan programs, the SBA is uniquely positioned to close the gaps in accessing capital for our most underserved communities, which continue to exist. Innovating and enhancing traditional products. To help our small businesses leverage an increasingly interconnected global market and booming e-commerce sector, the SBA is exploring new public-private partnerships to get resources and tools to more small businesses and better position them for future success. Building on the changes we made in 2021 to implement a customer-first, technology-forward, equitable approach, the SBA is strongly positioned to deliver on President Biden’s commitment to equity in 2022. Under Administrator Guzman’s decisive leadership, the SBA will continue to meet our small businesses and entrepreneurs where they are and provide them with the capital, opportunities, knowledge, and networks to start and grow their American dream and build resilience – regardless of demographic. And as our nation continues to build upon a historically strong economic recovery, we will be shifting our focus from emergency COVID relief support to long-term investments that will help lower costs for small business owners and reduce long-run inflationary pressures that families feel at home. The face of entrepreneurship is changing. We need all our nation’s 32.5 million small businesses and innovative startups to have access to the SBA’s critical federal resources to help ensure that great ideas from everywhere and anywhere can launch and thrive. Now more than ever, the SBA stands ready to help our nation’s entrepreneurs pivot and grow in the face of any challenge, seize new opportunities, and make sure the dream of starting a small business is in reach for every American.
NEWS
January 18, 2022
WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen will deliver the following remarks at the National Action Network’s Annual King Day Breakfast.  As prepared for delivery Hello, everyone, and thank you, Reverend Sharpton, for inviting me today. It’s a real pleasure to join NAN in celebrating the life and legacy of “the moral leader of our nation,” which is what A. Phillip Randolph called Dr. King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, moments before inviting him to deliver the “I Have a Dream” speech.  Like many people, I use this holiday to reacquaint myself with that remarkable speech and was interested see to that Dr. King uses a financial metaphor in a key passage.  “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,” he said, “they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”   “It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned,” he continued, “[They’ve been given] a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds. But we refuse to believe the bank of justice is bankrupt!”  It is compelling rhetoric, but I also think Dr. King knew it was a more than a metaphor. He knew that economic injustice was bound up in the larger injustice he fought against. From Reconstruction, to Jim Crow, to the present day, our economy has never worked fairly for Black Americans – or, really, for any American of color.  Well, since taking office last January, our administration has tried to change that; to ensure that neither the figurative bank of justice – nor any literal economic institution – fails to work for people of color.  It has been a year of action, especially at the Treasury Department. We’ve completed Treasury’s first equity review, looking across the Department and asking: Where are our operations not as inclusive as they should be?  We’ve brought on the most diverse leadership team in Treasury’s history and hired the Department’s first ever counselor on racial equity. And then there’s Treasury’s pandemic response. We knew that the communities hurt most by COVID were often communities of color, and so as we began implementing relief bills like the American Rescue Plan, we did so with equity in mind.   Reverend Sharpton, we were very glad to host you at our Freedman’s Bank Forum last month.  We announced there that Treasury was injecting $9 billion dollars into Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions. These CDFIs and MDIs serve people and places that the financial sector historically hasn’t served well.  We also included CEOs from some of the country’s largest financial institutions in the meeting. Beyond just injecting capital in CDFIs and MDIs, we wanted to find ways for these larger institutions to partner with them so they could scale up even further.  Of course, no one program and no one administration can make good on the hopes and aspirations that Dr. King had for our country. There is still much more work Treasury needs to do to narrow the racial wealth divide.   We also know that progress requires a constellation of actors across generations, in and out of government – and that is why NAN’s work remains so essential. Thank you, all, for your partnership and your leadership. I look forward to continuing the effort for racial and economic equality in 2022.  # # #
NEWS
January 12, 2022
Updates Will Result in Additional Services with No Out-of-Pocket Cost, Including Expanded Coverage for Breast Pumps and Adolescent Suicide Risk Screening Today, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has updated comprehensive preventive care and screening guidelines for women and for infants, children, and adolescents. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), certain group health plans and insurance issuers must provide coverage with no out-of-pocket cost for preventive health services within these HRSA-supported comprehensive guidelines. Among a number of updates, for the first time the guidelines will require such group health plans and insurance plans to provide coverage without a co-pay or deductible for double electric breast pumps. HHS is also releasing a new report from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) highlighting how the ACA has increased access to preventive care for millions of Americans, including vaccinations, contraception, and cancer screening. The ASPE report estimates that more than 150 million people with private insurance, including 58 million women and 37 million children, are receiving preventive services with no cost-sharing, as required by the ACA. “Access to preventive care can help save countless lives and should be available without out-of-pocket costs, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “These updated guidelines help ensure that we’re providing critical services to keep families healthy, based on the latest science and data available. The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to build on the Affordable Care Act to make preventive care available to as many Americans as possible nationwide.”  “We are pleased to release these updated guidelines to expand insurance coverage of preventive services for women, infants, children, and teenagers,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson. “By requiring coverage with no cost-sharing for services like double-electric breast pumps for new parents and suicide risk screening for adolescents, these guidelines will help save lives and help families save money on out-of-pocket costs.” ACA Women’s Preventive Care and Screenings—Guidelines: The Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines help clinicians determine what services they should routinely provide their patients. The Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) convenes a multidisciplinary team of women’s health experts to regularly review and recommend updates on a rolling basis to the guidelines based on the newest research and public comments, through a cooperative agreement with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) funded by HRSA. HRSA announced today that on December 30, 2021, it accepted updates to existing guidelines recommended by WPSI regarding breastfeeding services and supplies, well-woman preventive care visits, access to contraceptives and contraceptive counseling, screening for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and counseling for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These updates include, for the first time, requiring coverage without cost-sharing for double electric breast pumps. HHS also approved a new guideline aiming to prevent and reduce obesity in midlife women (ages 40 to 60) through counseling. Infants, Children and Adolescent Preventive Care and Screenings—Guidelines: The Bright Futures Program develops recommended evidence-informed guidelines for preventive care screenings and routine visits for newborns through adolescents up to age 21. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) convenes a team of pediatric primary care experts with funding from HRSA to review scientific evidence and new standards annually and recommend updates to the Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule based on the latest research and public comments. On December 30, 2021, HRSA also accepted updates to existing Bright Futures guidelines. These updates include adding universal screening for suicide risk to the current Depression Screening category for individuals ages 12 to 21, and new guidance for behavioral, social and emotional screening. HRSA has also accepted new guidelines for assessing risks for cardiac arrest or death for individuals ages 11 to 21 and assessing risks for hepatitis B virus infection in newborn to 21 year-olds. Group health plans and insurance issuers subject to these requirements will be required to provide coverage without cost-sharing of new and updated services in the Women’s Preventive Services Guidelines and the Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule during plan years beginning in 2023.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) offers further information on women’s preventive services coverage. To learn more about the updated guidelines, visit: https://www.hrsa.gov/womens-guidelines To find the ASPE report, visit: https://aspe.hhs.gov/reports/aca-preventive-services-without-cost-sharing