Washington (AP) – The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the election of President Joe Biden to oversee the Small Business Administration, an agency that has seen its portfolio expand in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
The vote to approve Isabel Guzman took place 81-17. He is the 18th member of Biden’s cabinet to win Senate approval.
Guzman is a former SBA official in the Obama administration who now heads the California Small Business Attorney’s Office. In that role, he oversaw efforts to help the state’s small businesses survive the epidemic.
“I am confident I can hit the ground fast,” Guzman told senators at his confirmation hearing.
The Small Business Department oversees credit programs that help businesses recover from natural disasters, increase access to capital through loan guarantees, provide training, and technical assistance. Guzman said he would work to ensure that money gets into the hands of small businesses, which are most affected by the epidemic, the economic crisis, through no fault of their own.
“I am absolutely confident that under Ms. Guzman, the SBA will help small business owners keep their dreams alive until it becomes our economy,” said DN.Y Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer noted that the Small Business Administration’s epidemic assistance programs will pay more than $ 1 trillion to the country’s small businesses, non-profit organizations and religious institutions. Most of this funding will be provided through the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides low-interest loans that are completely forgivable if 60% of the loan is spent on salaries and the rest on other eligible expenses.
The Government Accountability Office has recently added small business emergency loans to its list of programs that are highly vulnerable to fraud, waste or mismanagement.