The Biden-Harris Administration has taken several measures to support small businesses over the past few months. This fall, the Small Business Administration (SBA) expanded its lending program focused on underserved communities for the first time in 40 years. New licenses were issued to lenders in the Small Business Lending Company (SBLC) program for the first time in 40 years. The three new licensed lenders – Arkansas Capital Corporation, Alaska Growth Capital, and Funding Circle – have expertise and history lending to traditionally underserved communities.
In October, the U.S. Department of Treasury announced a $75 million competitive grant program with American Rescue Plan funds for states to provide services and technical assistance to help very small and underserved businesses access opportunities created by the President’s Investing in America agenda – which includes the historic investments made by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, CHIPS and Science Act, and American Rescue Plan.
This summer, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) awarded 43 non-profit community-based organizations funding to help underserved entrepreneurs launch and scale their small businesses. This program, funded through the American Rescue Plan. Additionally, the SBA announced that its 50+ American Rescue Plan-funded Community Navigators grantees helped secure nearly $250 million in approved funding for small businesses, trained over 290,000 business owners, and conducted 145,000 hours of one-on-one counseling. Funding is set to expire by the end of this year, so the Biden-Harris Administration has proposed additional funding for the program in its fiscal 2024 budget proposal.