ASBN kicks off Small Business and SBA Office of Advocacy Bipartisan Congressional Tour ahead of SBA’s National Small Business Week

Media Release

Small businesses are the backbone, heart, and leaders of our economy. The Small Business Administration (SBA), created in 1953, is the only federal agency dedicated to small business. “In honor of Small Business Month, ASBN is excited to kick off its bipartisan Small Business and SBA Advocacy tour ahead of the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s National Small Business Week 2022 to carve a seat at the table for ASBN’s 250,000 member businesses as policies and positions are being crafted at the White House, SBA, and on Capitol Hill,” said Maritza T. Adonis, EVP, Policy, Advocacy, and Government Affairs of the American Sustainable Business Network.   

The purpose of ASBN’s Small Business and SBA Advocacy Congressional tour is to represent and protect the interest of small businesses through proactive engagement with members of the U.S. House of Representative’s Committee on Small Business led by Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez and Ranking Member Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer; and U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship led by Chairmen Senator Ben Cardin and Ranking Member Senator Rand Paul.    

Working from ASBN’s April 29, 2022, congressional committee letter regarding the management and operations of the SBA Office of Advocacy, the meetings will explore synergies between the respective congressional office’s small business portfolio and ASBN small business priorities. The tour will include special meetings with a variety of departments at the SBA, ASBN member events for small businesses, and is expected to culminate at the end of July with a national virtual ASBN member event featuring a senior leader from the SBA.   

“This is an amazing opportunity to bridge the gap for communication. By meeting with multiple Representatives and Senators we are able to have open conversations about the needs and benefits of small businesses. ASBN is proud to have our team supporting and participating in this tour to build out the opportunities for public private partnership and public policies that recognize small business and local economies as the backbone to help build our economy,” said David Levine, co-founder and President of the American Sustainable Business Network.     

On April 27, 2022, the tour kicked off with ASBN’s President David Levine, EVP of Policy, Advocacy, and Government Affairs, Maritza T. Adonis, and Senior Manager of Policy and Advocacy, Colton Fagundes by visiting the Offices of Senators Cardin, Rubio, Rosen and Representatives Delgado and Fitzgerald to advocate for access to capital and SBA engagement.   

We were inspired to join ASBN as a member after learning about their SBA Advocacy efforts. Our organization has been a leading voice in Oregon to drive support for the small businesses that are critical to our economic recovery in our state, and we are excited to partner with ASBN on small business federal advocacy,” said Ashley Henry, Executive Director, Business for a Better Portland.   

The second leg of the tour on May 12 and 13, 2022 included meetings with Senators Scott, Hickenlooper, Shaheen, Graham, Risch, Inhofe, and Representatives Phillips, Davids, and Tenney. “I look forward to working with the American Sustainable Business Network in meeting the needs of our nation’s small businesses, including on access to capital and robust trainings and technical assistance through Small Business Administration (SBA) programs. I share ASBN’s commitment to stakeholder capitalism and its related benefits in shaping a more equitable business landscape. Thank you to ASBN for coming to meet with me and my office,” said Congressman Dean Phillips (D-MN-03).     

 In addition to meeting with congressional offices, the ASBN team which included ASBN’s EVP of Policy, Advocacy, and Government Affairs, Maritza T. Adonis, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Frank Knapp, and Policy and Advocacy Associate Devika Rao added a meeting with SBA’s Office of Capital Access to discuss 7A-loans, EIDL payback extension, and the Community Advantage Program.    

“After years of concern that the Office of Advocacy has not been representing all small businesses, we are encouraged that Advocacy has joined us in calling for the inclusion of a broader range of small businesses in its assessment of the impact of proposed federal regulations. Officially changing its name, as Advocacy recommends, to remove the use of ‘Small Business Administration’ is also welcomed to end confusion as to the relationship between the two agencies,” said Frank Knapp, ASBN Director of Policy and Advocacy and President of the SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce.   

All ASBN member businesses are invited to join future legs of the tour on June 16, 17, and July 14, 15, 28, and 29 by contacting a member of the Policy, Advocacy, and Government Affairs team. Follow ASBN’s Small Business and SBA Advocacy Congressional Tour on all social media platforms using #ASBNOnTheHill.   

“This is an impressive line-up and initiative and precisely why ASBN was excited to welcome Maritza T. Adonis as EVP of Policy, Advocacy, and Government Affairs to the team in March 2022 to lead ASBN’s advocacy and policy portfolio. We knew that we could entrust her to work with the team and position ASBN as the leader for small business issues in Congress and beyond, said Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and CEO of the American Sustainable Business Network.