The US Senate confirmed by a large majority Isabel Guzman the new director of the Small Business Administration (SBA), making her the first Latina woman to be appointed to a ministerial position in Democratic President Joe Biden’s government.
Guzmn will be responsible for helping the country’s small and medium-sized businesses overcome the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
By 81 votes in favor and 17 against, the Senate approved the appointment of Guzmán, 51, of Mexican descent, who would become the first and only Latina woman in the Cabinet, the fifth of Hispanic descent. From that place in the history of the United States.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, according to CNN, said: “I am confident that, under Guzman’s leadership, the Small Business Association will help small business owners hold on to their dreams so that our economy will vibrate again” after the pandemic.
Graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of Business, Guzman worked as executive director of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness during the administration of former President Barack Obama (2009-2017), and has spent her entire career supporting the interests of small businesses, advising entrepreneurs. Develop policies and programs to help foster innovation.
Since 2019, she has held the position of Director of the Office of a Small Business Ombudsman in California, her hometown.
From SBA, Guzmn will oversee the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which Congress created last year and raised more than $ 687,000 million to help companies keep paying their employees during the pandemic.
During the February confirmation hearing, Guzmen pledged to work from his new position for the benefit of all small business owners in the country, “including the most disadvantaged, those who have faced historic barriers to launching and growing their own business” such as Latinos or blacks.
He stressed during the session that “his success is equivalent to the success of our country.”
Biden’s nomination in January was well received by businessmen and Hispanic groups across the country as the largest Latin civil rights organization, UnidosUS, which welcomed the green light from the Senate.
“Guzmn’s assertion is urgently needed to help provide a fair path to recovery for our communities, including small businesses and their critical role in the economy,” UnidosUS President Janet Morgua said in a statement.
Morgoa recalls that Latinos “create businesses twice as fast as any other ethnic group, and Hispanic firms employ nearly three million workers.”
Biden has already appointed three Latins in his cabinet: Alejandro Mayorcas as Minister of National Security, Miguel Cardona as Minister of Education, and Xavier Becera as Minister of Health, pending confirmation in the Senate.