The Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Says Resources are Available for Rural Businesses – Part 2


This is part two of our story on U.S. Small Business Administration resources that are available to assist small businesses across the country, including in rural areas.  The Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Isabella Casillas Guzman, feels it’s important that small businesses in rural communities feel connected to organizations that can help them.

“Obviously, there is a lack of oftentimes local banks that might exist or lack of federal offices that exist, but the SBA wants to really make sure that rural communities know that we are here to serve them,” says Guzman.  “We do have products that can help their businesses and we do want to make sure that we can connect.  So, I think it’s the connectivity as well as, obviously, the marketplace size.  Rural small businesses have to work above and beyond and hard to not only serve their local communities in many cases, but for growth strategies figure out how they can expand even further.  There are just some remarkable stories in the SBA success stories of rural businesses that were able to, for example, leverage digital tools to launch a whole ecommerce network and expand their business or access federal contracts and so we want to continue to help them.”

Business owners can find help where ever they are through online resources.

“I definitely would encourage them to come to the SBA,” says Guzman. “ is their access point to connect to local resources you can find, even if it’s not immediately in their town.  Our District Office, as well as our resource partners and SCORE partners, SBDCs, of course, and Women’s Business Centers because, often times, these organizations will come into town to do special webinars and trainings.  They’ll have online courses that are available to help businesses expand and grow their businesses.”

You can also get more information on Small Business Development Centers at

“I grew up in a small business family,” says Guzman. “I started businesses in a range of industries, a training company to a consulting business, so a full range.  Small business owners wear multiple hats. We’re balancing multiple challenges.   It’s oftentimes impossible to focus on growth and to strengthen your business and so I think that small businesses have to consider where free options are available and the SBDC network is just one of the things the SBA funds, so small businesses can get supported.  I think that, as well, small businesses are such an integral part of the community. I just remember that every person that walked in my dad’s veterinary hospital was such a critical part of his business, obviously as a customer, but he was known in the community and that’s how our businesses are.  So, I think we have to all support our local businesses and lean on each other to make sure that we can distribute the resources and knowledge as quickly as possible.”

To hear part one of this story, visit our website

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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