Breaking Barriers: SBA Propelling Black-Owned Businesses To New Heights

Mindy Brissey

In the dynamic landscape of the United States’ economy, the recent upswing in small business growth emerges as an extraordinary narrative, characterized by resilience, innovation, and unparalleled accomplishments. The year 2023 witnessed an unprecedented 5.5 million new business applications, marking a pinnacle in the history of small business expansion. Guided by the strategic vision of the Biden-Harris administration’s Investing in America agenda, pivotal federal investments such as the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ignited this surge in entrepreneurship. 

Surpassing historical benchmarks, this wave of success, encapsulated by a remarkable 16 million new business applications since President Biden’s inauguration, not only redefines expectations but also champions diversity and inclusivity in the entrepreneurial landscape. From the flourishing realm of private establishments to robust job creation and groundbreaking federal procurement opportunities, the tale of small businesses in the United States during this period unfolds as a captivating story, emblematic of a nation dedicated to nurturing innovation, economic vitality, and the determined spirit of entrepreneurship.

The recent boost in small business growth in the ever-evolving American economy stands out as an exceptional story, marked by durability, creativity, and unprecedented achievements. The year 2023 saw a record 5.5 million new business filings, representing a high point in the progress of small business evolution. 

One remarkable achievement that we honor during Black History Month is the unparalleled increase of SBA loans extended to Black-owned businesses. In fiscal year 2023, these loans crossed the $1 billion mark for the third year in a row, a more than twofold increase since 2020. These figures underline the Biden administration’s commitment to economic inclusivity is resulting in considerable and meaningful change.

SBA guarantee loans are emerging as crucial financial support for Black entrepreneurs who frequently encounter systemic obstacles. Traditional barriers such as discrimination, credit history, collateral, and constrained networks have generally made it tough for them to secure funding. 

The Biden administration’s $100 million Community Navigator Program exemplifies its dedication to connect small businesses to local resources. This program is suitable for women, veterans, rural, and socially underprivileged business owners, offering specialist advice and mentorship. Moreover, it advocates for the creation and growth of Women’s Business Centers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

These efforts’ influence goes beyond the individual business level. The Census Bureau’s 2022 Annual Business Survey reveals that more than 161,000 Black or African American-owned businesses add $183.3 billion in yearly receipts, employ 1.4 million people, and generate $53.6 billion in annual payroll. These businesses are essential to growing the economy, stimulating growth, creating jobs, spurring innovation, and enhancing the cultural richness of the communities in which they operate.

In supporting Black-owned businesses, the Biden administration doesn’t merely advocate for economic growth; it actively helps shrink the racial wealth gap, encourages economic participation, and paves the way for an equitable and prosperous society.   

Mindy Brissey is the SBA’s regional administrator overseeing the agency’s programs, offices, and operations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. 

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