Senate Confirms Biden Nominee Isabel Guzman to Lead Small Business Administration

In this Jan. 8, 2021 file photo President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Small Business Administrator, Isabel Guzman speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee, Isabel Guzman, to lead the Small Business Administration (SBA), making her the 18th member of his cabinet to receive confirmation.

Guzman, who has served as leader of California’s Office of the Small Business Advocate since 2019, was confirmed with a bipartisan vote of 81-17, with all “no” votes stemming from Republican members of the Senate.

“I am confident that I can hit the ground running,” Guzman told senators during her confirmation hearing.

Prior to her confirmation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) praised Guzman’s nomination. “I have every confidence that under Ms. Guzman’s leadership, the SBA will help small business owners hold onto their dreams until our economy comes roaring back,” Schumer said.

Guzman previously worked in former President Barack Obama’s administration, holding different roles in the SBA, which has seen a sharp increase in demand and productivity since the coronavirus pandemic began.

In her new role, Guzman will be tasked with carrying out duties relating to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which provides loans to small businesses, especially those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. She will also oversee efforts to extend the PPP should Congress vote to do so.

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