Designed to strengthen outreach in underprivileged communities
PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Small business owners are thanking Senator Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) after his visit to their businesses Friday. He toured the Phoenix area with U.S. Small Business Administrator (SBA) Isabella Casillas Guzman.
They highlighted the senator's Community Navigator Program, which was made possible through the American Rescue Plan (APA) back in May 2021. It was designed to make financial aid easier to access, as well as other support small businesses need, especially those owned by minorities, women and U.S. veteran entrepreneurs.
“The Community Navigator Pilot Program is a crucial addition to our SBA programs because it helps us to connect with small businesses that have historically been underserved or left behind," Guzman shared when the program first launched.
Sen. Kelly and Guzman began their business tour at Latino-owned Moreno’s Mexican Grill in Mesa. Owners Angel and Maritza Moreno have been working with the Phoenix branch of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
This support corporation received $5 million from the APA. Applicants had until Monday, July 12, 2021, to submit their applications.
According to the program, LISC was one of eight picked nationally to get that much federal aid.
The two then traveled to central Phoenix where they met with a group of small business owners at Frances Boutique. Sen Kelly used the opportunity to discuss economic recovery post-pandemic and how the federal government can continue being a resource and partner for small businesses.