(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today issued the following statement after the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it is reconvening the Council on Underserved Communities (CUC) to support its prioritization of equity across its programs and initiatives:
“I applaud Administrator Guzman for reconvening the Council on Underserved Communities to advise SBA on policies that will better meet the needs of underserved entrepreneurs. The months and years ahead are an opportunity to reshape our nation’s economy and make it fairer and more equitable. SBA must play a key role by ensuring that minorities, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and entrepreneurs in rural communities have access to the tools they need to start and grow successful businesses.”
The Council on Underserved Communities was established to focus on communities and populations that traditionally have faced barriers in accessing credit, capital, and the 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 for members from the public with a deadline of July 20, 2021.
The requirements for nominations follow:
- must be representative of the interests of urban or rural underserved communities;
- former or current small business owner;
- community leader; or
- official from 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 category of urban or rural 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
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 the Office of the Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd St. SW, Washington, DC 20416, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org