SBA Reconvenes the Council on Underserved Communities
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Tuesday that it is reconvening the Council on Underserved Communities (CUC) under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The restoration of the Council will help support the SBA’s prioritization of equity across its programs and initiatives. The Council will consist of 20 diverse stakeholders from every region of the country tasked with advising the SBA on strengthening and improving its strategies to help underserved communities.
“We know that all of our small businesses must be supported and given opportunities to succeed to rebuild our nation’s economy and strengthen our global competitiveness,” said SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman. “With support and insights from the Council on Underserved Communities, we can better build and implement programs to equitably serve all of our small business and innovative startups.”
The Council on Underserved Communities was established to focus on communities and populations that have traditionally faced barriers in accessing credit, capital, and other resources necessary to start and grow businesses. The CUC’s mission is to collectively provide SBA with input, advice, and recommendations on strategies to improve and strengthen equity among women-, veteran-, and minority-owned businesses and/or businesses from low-to-moderate income or rural communities.
With this announcement, the SBA is soliciting nominations from members from the public with a deadline of Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The requirements for nominations include:
- Must be representative of the interests of urban or rural underserved communities;
- Former or current small business owner;
- Community leader;
- Official from a small business trade association or academic institution.
Nominees should send a letter of self-nomination or a letter of nomination from a peer, professional organization, society, or member of Congress. The letter must indicate which underserved community—rural or urban—the nominee will represent and highlight accomplishments and experience working with small businesses in the previously mentioned communities. Along with the Nominee Information Form and resume, nominees should include the following:
- Full name of nominee
- Physical address
- Telephone number
- Email address
Making a Difference in Underserved Small Business Communities
The previous implementation of COVID programs has frequently left behind underserved communities. The success SBA and the small business community have seen from prioritizing equity in programs such as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and the third round of the Paycheck Protection Program exemplify the need to continue this progress. The Shuttered Venues Operators Grant, the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans (including Targeted Advance grants), and Community Navigator programs push SBA even further in the right direction. SBA’s reconvening of the CUC presents an opportunity to hear from trailblazing voices and to continue to make the small business community a more equitable one.
About the Council on Underserved Communities
Initially established in 2010, the Council on Underserved Communities provides advice, ideas, and opinions on SBA programs, services, and issues of interest to small businesses in underserved communities. Its members provide an essential connection between the SBA and small businesses in inner-city and rural communities. The Council’s scope of activities includes reviewing current SBA programs and policies while working toward creating new and insightful initiatives to spur economic growth, job creation, competitiveness, and sustainability. All nominations should be mailed to:
Office of the Administrator
U.S. Small Business Administration
409 3rd St. SW
Washington, DC 20416
or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.