isabel-guzman-biden US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (left) looks on as Isabel Guzmán delivers remarks after US President-elect Joe Biden announced her as his nominee for head of the Small Business Administration at The Queen theater on Jan. 8, 2021 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“We have to build our economy back better from this pandemic,” Isabel Guzmán said. 

With the closure of thousands of small businesses nationwide due to the pandemic, Isabel Guzmán was on the ground in California strategizing how to best support small business owners through these incredibly difficult times. Now, her local efforts and expertise will be expanded to help the rest of small business owners around the country.  

On Jan. 7, President-elect Joe Biden announced his nomination of Guzmán to join his economic and jobs team as the Small Business Administrator. Biden’s latest nomination continues to show his effort to create a diverse cabinet. 

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“This team will help us emerge from the most inequitable economic and jobs crisis in modern history by building an economy where every American is in on the deal,” Biden said in a statement. “They share my belief that the middle class built this country and that unions built the middle class. They know how to work with states, cities, small towns, and tribal communities, along with labor, entrepreneurs, and businesses to get things done for American workers.”

Guzmán’s appointment comes at a critical time. A year since the beginning of COVID-19, unemployment continues to plague Americans, particularly women. Last month, 140,000 jobs were lost, and they were held by women, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Jan. 8. Furthermore, the unemployment rate has not improved in the past seven months

CNN reports that among women, Latinas currently have the highest unemployment rate at 9.1%, followed by Black women at 8.4%. White women have the lowest unemployment rate at 5.7%.

Guzmán, who is from Texas and whose family is from Mexico, according to the Larta Institute, said she is ready to work alongside President-elect Biden and serve the small business community. 

“We have to build our economy back better from this pandemic,” Guzmán said on Twitter. “Small businesses and their employees will be core to our recovery and I will work around the clock to help them re-open and thrive.”

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chairman Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) said he praised Biden’s nomination of Guzmán not just because of her proficiency in the business industry but also because of the need to have Latina representation on Biden’s cabinet. 

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“Having a Latina at the table, who is a small business entrepreneur herself, and who has previously worked at the SBA will be essential to help bridge the divide among minority business owners and federal assistance,” Rep. Ruiz said in a statement. “The CHC looks forward to working with Administrator-designate Guzmán and Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez as they work to ensure equity-driven policies are enacted so that minority business owners are aware of and have access to the resources needed to recover from the pandemic and succeed.” 

CORRECTION (January 12, 2021, 11:56 a.m.): A previous version of this story included incorrect information about the unemployment rate in the past seven months. We regret the error. Furthermore, this is the first time the unemployment rate did not improve in the past seven months; it remained at 6.7% between November and December.