Small businesses are the backbone of the United States economy, employing nearly 50% of the U.S. workforce and representing nearly two-thirds of new jobs created in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on small businesses, but there is recent optimism with increased vaccination rates and loosened restrictions.
During the pandemic, the federal government has played a critical role in preventing further devastation to small businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) oversaw the approval of millions of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans helping businesses retain tens of millions of jobs. Additionally, leaders have been developing legislation to create additional relief and support.
CUMU is pleased to welcome Kylie Patterson, Professional Staff Member on the U.S Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee under Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). Previously, Ms. Patterson served as the director of economic inclusion at Johns Hopkins University, where she served as the primary contact for the CUMU-TDC Anchor Learning Network and led several CUMU conference presentations while in that role.
The following topics and questions will be addressed:
- Legislative overview of SBA priorities as we recover from the pandemic
- Racial equity initiatives of the committee: what does an equitable recovery look like and what action steps must occur?
- What role must higher education, philanthropic and other anchor institutors play going forward in supporting and advocating for small businesses?
- What opportunities exist within the SBA for higher education anchors to utilize to best accomplish local/small business procurement goals?