The U.S. Small Business Administration is dedicated to providing support to small businesses across the nation.
Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Their mission is to help Americans start, build and grow businesses.
Building on its core programs and recovery initiatives, the SBA has founded a Council on Underserved Communities (CUC). Chaired by Catherine Hughes, founder and chairperson of Radio One and TV One, it will have 20 members who represent a diverse range of backgrounds and geographic areas.
“Thirty years ago, I grew my business with the help of an SBA loan,” said Hughes.
“Now I’m so pleased to be chairing the Council on Underserved Communities and help entrepreneurs in communities across the country take advantage of those same opportunities for success.”
The CUC will provide input, advice and recommendations on strategies to help strengthen competitiveness and sustainability for small businesses in underserved communities. These strategies will be focused on increasing entrepreneurship and technical assistance, creating new and strengthening existing outreach and training, and raising awareness in underserved communities of SBA programs and services.
SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns said, “the Council on Underserved Communities will provide valuable insight and advice into how we can ensure that small businesses in these communities throughout the country have access to the tools they need to grow, create jobs and win the future.”
“One of SBA’s core missions is to support small businesses in traditionally underserved communities, including minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities and in rural areas,” she said.
The CUC’s first meeting will be held in July, in Washington, DC. Before the first meeting, members of the CUC will hold listening sessions in their regions to hear from small business owners and members of the community about what they need from the SBA.
The CUC is part of the SBA’s ongoing efforts to expand its reach into underserved communities. While the nation’s economic recovery is moving forward, that recovery has been uneven, particularly for socially, economically and geographically disadvantaged small business owners. To help SBA better address the challenges facing small business owners, the CUC will meet regularly and advise SBA on ways to increase access to capital and promote sustainability, growth, and job creation.