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Biden picks Isabel Guzman for Small Business Administration, fulfilling a promise to Latinos - AL DIA News

Biden picks Isabel Guzman for Small Business Administration, fulfilling a promise to Latinos - AL DIA News


Biden picks Isabel Guzman for Small Business Administration, fulfilling a promise to Latinos - AL DIA News

Posted: 08 Jan 2021 01:34 PM PST

It was one of his many promises.

President-elect Joe Biden promised to have an administration that is representative of the diversity within the United States. He's made historic decisions so far, including the first-ever Latino as Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, and Rep. Deb Haaland as the first Native American Secretary of the Interior. 

But as weeks passed and cabinet positions dwindled, things were looking grim for Latino representation. Biden has already nominated Mayorkas for the DHS, Xavier Becerra for Health and Human Services, and Miguel Cardona for Education Secretary — whose nomination was also historic as the first Latino to serve in the position. 

In previous administrations, the highest number of Latinos to serve in Cabinet-level positions was four, and with just weeks left before inauguration day, the worry was that there would not be a single Latina in Biden's cabinet.

In response, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) ramped up efforts to increase Latino representation, specifically raising awareness that there was yet to be a Latina selected for a role.

It had more to do with representation's sake. 

Latina women, most prominently seen in Arizona, are behind the mobilization of voters that led to the state flipping blue. It wasn't the deciding factor in Biden's win, but it was definitely a major turnaround.

The Hispanic Caucus also spoke to Vice President-elect Sen. Kamala Harris on the outstanding issue in mid-December, and nearly a month later, Biden announced his selection of Isabel Guzman for the top job at the U.S. Small Business Administration.

"@Hispanic Caucus made it a top priority for a Latina to serve in the Cabinet. We applaud the appointment of Isabel Guzman as Small Business Administrator. Her experience as a small business entrepreneur & previous work at SBA will be critical in helping small businesses succeed." Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Raul Ruiz wrote in a briefing. 

Guzman is currently the director of California's Office of the Small Business Advocate, a position she's held since 2019. A former deputy chief of staff at the SBA during the Obama administration, she will replace Jovita Carranza as administrator. 

Carranza led the SBA through COVID-19, and the popular, yet controversial roll-out of the Paycheck Protection Program, which helped give 5 million U.S. small businesses— some, far from small — over $500 billion in aid.

With the pandemic yet to be mitigated, there will still be much to do from where Carranza leaves off. 

Guzman will be tasked with running an agency that has become increasingly vital for the health and wellness of the nation's millions of small businesses, and BIPOC businesses have been hit particularly hard.

A new report released Jan. 8 by the University of California, Los Angeles Latino Policy and Politics Initiative (UCLA Latino) laid-out the racial factors in December 2020 job losses.

Latino employment tanked by 252,000 jobs, Black employment dropped by 26,000 jobs, and Asian employment did as well, by 40,000 jobs. 

By contrast, there was an increase of 38,000 white jobs. 

"Workers of color bore the brunt of this loss," wrote UCLA Latino. 

Even before the pandemic, BIPOC small businesses did not fare as well.

In 2019, only 10% of funding from the SBA's major lending programs went to Black, Latino, and Indigenous entrepreneurs combined. 

A recent "secret shopper" study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition also found that when Black small business applicants contacted a bank, nearly half the time, they were given inferior treatment to white applicants with similar credit. 

During the pandemic, more than 26% of Black, 19% of Latino, and 21% of Asian-owned businesses have closed, according to further research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Biden released a plan to address such issues in his alliterative "Build Back Better" initiative, which places emphasis on aiding BIPOC-owned businesses.

But it will ultimately be up to Guzman to fight the unequal job crisis, the most difficult economic challenge in recent history, by presenting new ideas via the SBA that reflect the struggle that small BIPOC businesses have disproportionately endured.

"We have to build our economy back better from this pandemic," wrote Guzman in response to her nomination. "Small businesses and their employees will be core to our recovery and I will work around the clock to help them re-open and thrive."

SBA and Treasury Announce PPP Re-Opening; Issue New Guidance - GlobeNewswire

Posted: 08 Jan 2021 07:07 AM PST

Washington, Jan. 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan."The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most," said Administrator Jovita Carranza.  "Today's guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery." "The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America's small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs," said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  "This updated guidance enhances the PPP's targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers."Key PPP updates include:PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan's covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;The Program's eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; andCertain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;Has no more than 300 employees; andCan demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.The new guidance released includes:PPP Guidance from SBA Administrator Carranza on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran, and Women-owned Business Concerns;Interim Final Rule on Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act; andInterim Final Rule on Second Draw PPP Loans. For more information on SBA's assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares.  ### About the U.S. Small Business AdministrationThe 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.Press Office United States Small Business Administration 202-270-3876 Press_Office@sba.gov

SBA Extends Crucial Lifeline to Borrowers Impacted by COVID-19 with Debt Relief - GlobeNewswire

Posted: 10 Jan 2021 07:09 PM PST

Washington, Jan. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the U.S. Small Business Administration continues implementation of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 27, 2020, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza made the following statement in regards to Section 325:"Small business is big business in America, and this Administration will continue to extend a lifeline to small business owners during this critical time. Congress charged the SBA with making debt relief payments (principal, interest and fee payments) under Section 1112 of the CARES Act to help borrowers in SBA's 7(a), 504 and Microloan programs; and now SBA is working expeditiously to implement the newly enacted assistance.""The new law extends SBA debt relief authority, allowing the Administration to continue alleviating adverse economic effects of COVID-19 for small businesses with SBA loans. Since April last year, the SBA has made over $7.1 billion in payments across 1,819,130 loans on behalf of these borrowers. It's important to note that these firms were also initially able to access capital because of the SBA federal guarantee."The SBA is determining how much additional debt relief assistance can be provided to SBA borrowers with the newly issued Congressional appropriation. Debt Relief guidance will soon be posted on the SBA website.### About the U.S. Small Business AdministrationThe 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.Press Office United States Small Business Administration Press_Office@sba.gov

Accountant Who Aided Worldwide Scam Charged with Small Business Administration Loan Fraud - Department of Justice

Posted: 07 Jan 2021 11:51 AM PST

Miami, Fl. -- A former accountant who assisted in a scam involving valuable artwork and a Swiss bank account has been charged in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain a Small Business Administration ("SBA") loan. 

Daniel Gibson, 57, of Marlboro, New Jersey, was charged today by Information with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, announced United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Ariana Fajardo Orshan, Special Agent in Charge for the FBI Miami Field Office George L. Piro, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the IRS  Criminal Investigation Miami Field Office Tyler R. Hatcher, and Special Agent in Charge for the FDIC, Office of Inspector General Kyle A. Myles.

According to court documents, 1 Global Capital LLC was a commercial lending business based in Hallandale Beach, Florida, that made the equivalent of "pay day" loans to small businesses at high interest rates beginning in or around 2013.  Gibson was a certified public accountant licensed in the State of New York who served as the accountant for 1 Global, 1 Global's former chairman, and a number of businesses owend and operated by 1 Global's former chairman.

The Information alleges that in 2011, 1 Global's former chairman took out an approximately $3 million loan backed by the SBA, purportedly to be used as working capital for a nutraceutical business that he owned at the time. 1 Global's former chairman and his wife were required to personally guarantee the SBA loan in full. 

From about 2013 to 2018, Gibson and 1 Global's former chairmain misrepresented to the SBA that the nutraceutical company failed as a business and that 1 Global's former chairman had no other assets or income to make his payments on the SBA loan.  According to the Information, Gibson and 1 Global's former chairman concealed from the SBA certain assets and income that could have been used to repay the loan, including:  (a) money that 1 Global's former chairman received from 1 Global beginning in 2013, which totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars during the period in question; (b) valuable artwork that belonged to 1 Global's former chairman; and (c) an offshore Swiss bank account in the name of and controlled by 1 Global's former chairman, containing at one point over $1 million. Acccording to the Information, the SBA is currently owed $1,783,019.14 on this loan. 

FBI Miami, IRS-CI Miami, and FDIC-OIG investigated the case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Elizabeth Young is prosecuting it, together with DOJ Criminal Division Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Jerrob Duffy, Lisa H. Miller, and L. Rush Atkinson. Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Nicole Grosnoff is handling asset forfeiture.

You may find a copy of this press release and more information about the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at its website:  www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls.

You may find related court documents and information on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 21-cr-20009.

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