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NORFOLK, VA — Isabella Casillas Guzman, the US Small Business Administration’s 27th Administrator, visited Norfolk  to talk about pandemic economic relief programs for small businesses. Administrator Guzman represents the more than 30 million U.S. small businesses and is committed to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs start, grow, and make their businesses successful and resilient.

Guzman visited Torch Bistro in the Chelsea Business District and met with members of U.S. House of Representatives,  Congressman Bobby Scott, and Congresswoman Elaine Luria, along with Virginia House of Delegates’ Delegate Stephen “Steve” Heretick (D-Portsmouth) and Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander.  Norfolk Director of Development Jared Chalk was also a part of the local delegation. During the meeting, Guzman said “it has been heartening to see an  all-government approach to helping small businesses.”

The Norfolk Economic Development Authority has awarded over $3.8 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds (CORE) to local Norfolk businesses during the pandemic”, said Chalk, who is also the Executive Director of the Norfolk Economic Development Authority. Grant funds were available to small for-profit businesses and nonprofits physically located in the City of Norfolk affected by COVID-19. Priority was given to minority and women owned businesses.

Chalk shared that Norfolk “continues to make funds available to Norfolk businesses.  A new round of the Norfolk Capital Access Program (CAP) is accepting applications until July 18, 2021.” Follow the CAP link for more information. 

Norfolk was also recently selected as one of twelve cities to be part of The Rockefeller Foundation Opportunity Collective (ROC)–a $12 million investment aimed to increase access to credit and capital for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color  (BIPOC) small businesses. The Norfolk Technical Assistance Clinic, a part of the City’s Small Business Initiative,  has been made possible with a $225,000 grant from ROC.

For more information on these and other programs offered by Norfolk Department of Development and their partners, follow this link.

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