READOUT: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin Joins SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and Small Business Owners for a Webinar on Economic Aid and Recovery in the Mid-Atlantic Region

Washington, Aug. 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Thursday, August 5, SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman and U.S. Senate Small Business Committee Chair Ben Cardin joined small business owners and advocates for a webinar on critical Biden-Harris economic aid to help small businesses in rural, urban, and underserved communities build back better.

More than 1,100 participants joined the livestream virtual briefing for small business owners on COVID-19 economic aid and recovery as part of the "Getting Back on Track: Help is Here" webinar series (GBOT) cosponsored by the  U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Public Private Strategies Institute (PPSI).

“Over the last three months, Getting Back on Track webinars have featured our nation’s policy leaders and small business advocates and reached more than 27,000 small business owners, providing access to SBA’s American Rescue Plan programs, new digital tools that simplify and streamline economic relief, and help to support vaccine leadership in neighborhoods and communities across the country — especially critical as we must continue to fight this pandemic in order to fully and safely reopen our main streets, business centers, and innovation hubs,” said Administrator Guzman. “I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved through these 11 regional and national webinars — providing crucial information to our nation’s entrepreneurs at a time when we need to build up all our small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

“Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s successful vaccination strategy and the historic American Rescue Plan, our communities and small businesses are beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Senator Ben Cardin said. “The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape our national economy to make it fairer and more equitable. Congress must take full advantage of this opportunity by ensuring that entrepreneurs in underserved communities have access to the affordable capital, mentorship, technical training, and government contracting opportunities they need to start and grow successful businesses.”

Webinar guests also received economic aid updates from Veronica Pugin, SBA Senior Advisor to the Office of Capital Access, and John Fleming, SBA District Director for Delaware and Region III Acting Regional Administrator.

SBA Senior Advisor to the Office of Capital Access Veronica Pugin provided SBA updates on the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (COVID-19 EIDL). COVID-19 EIDL is a borrower-friendly small business loan program to help small business owners, self-employed gig workers, and entrepreneurs recover and grow their small businesses. She highlighted dedicated new management resources to improve the program's delivery, processes, customer experience, and outreach to diverse communities. Substantive process upgrades have improved processing times for applicants by more than 22 times.

SBA Delaware District Director and Region 3 Acting Regional Administrator John Fleming joined an in-depth question and answer session and provided detailed updates on low-interest disaster relief aid through the American Rescue Plan, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, and the new Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness process.  He also discussed technical assistance that SBA district offices could provide to applicants.   

Founder and President of the Public Private Strategies Institute Rhett Buttle said, "As we continue to recover from COVID-19, it is important for small business owners to have trusted partners in government. The Getting Back On Track webinar series has provided small business owners with helpful information on accessing capital, implementing digital transitions, and helping small business owners be vaccine leaders in their communities. The Public Private Strategies Institute is proud to have been a part of this effort, and we're thankful for the collaboration and commitment of the entire Small Business Administration team that helped make it happen."

SBA and PPSI organizers commented, "It was an honor to have Senator Cardin and SBA Administrator Guzman speak to this essential network of small business owners and leaders and hear about the continued implementation of the Biden-Harris economic aid and support of small business owners.”    

SBA recommends applicants, interested parties, and qualified entities explore these additional resources for economic aid and vaccination information


Cosponsorship Authorization # 21-0501-14: The SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products, or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. 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


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