COATESVILLE, PA — Last week, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) hosted Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman in Coatesville for back-to-back events: a roundtable discussion with Chamber and business leaders and a tour of nth Solutions, a local innovation hub. During the visits, Houlahan and Guzman showcased effective, federal programs to support entrepreneurs, especially women and minorities, and heard from residents about workforce challenges. The gathering of area business leaders highlighted the diversity, strength, and collaboration of Chester and Berks Counties’ small business sectors.
“Starting a small business is in many ways a reflection of our faith in the American Dream to inspire, innovate, and give back to our community—I know because I’ve been there, too,” said Houlahan. “As I meet with small business owners across southeastern Pennsylvania, I see that faith in action; we have over 15,000 small business owners who employ nearly half of workers in our district. We continue to grow and attract new businesses, but we also know barriers like access to capital and affordable child care persist. To talk about our successes and the work ahead, I proudly hosted SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman in Coatesville.”
Houlahan added: “Administrator Guzman has been a tireless partner through the distribution of historic emergency disaster loans, small business grants, small venue grants, and so much more to keep our economy on track during the worst of the pandemic. She also understands that when women- and minority-owned businesses succeed, we all succeed. On this pressing issue, I look forward to working together to strengthen existing programs and resources for underrepresented communities. In fact, my Women-Owned Small Business Program Transparency Act is expected to pass the House this week with broad bipartisan support. Our commitment to small businesses continues, and I will return to Washington this week with fresh ideas from our community, ready to deliver for Pennsylvanians.”
As an active member of the House Small Business Committee, Houlahan has met with Administrator Guzman on several occasions, this time inviting her Coatesville to see what barriers small businesses still face as the economy recovers from the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was thrilled to join Rep. Houlahan to meet with small business owners in Pennsylvania and hear about their successes and challenges as they grow and serve their communities,” said Administrator Guzman. “Rep. Houlahan truly understands the importance of equity when it comes to helping small businesses grow and thrive, and her support of SBA programs has helped local small businesses in her district to weather the challenges of the pandemic, and to pivot and find new opportunities for expansion. The SBA strives to make sure capital, growth opportunities, and support networks are available to all, and I’m committed to working with President Biden, my fellow cabinet members, and Congress to make sure startups and small businesses are getting connected with the opportunities, funding, and resources they need to grow and thrive.”
The roundtable included representatives from the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance, Chester County Economic Development Council – Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, City of Coatesville, SCORE, and more. Afterward, Houlahan and Guzman met with PA Rep. Dan Williams (D-Coatesville) for a tour of nth Solutions.
“Small businesses are truly the heart of our economy,” said Rep. Dan Williams. “nth Solutions and its partner companies right here in Coatesville are not only innovating great products and business ideas, they are incubating futures, supporting dreams, and giving young people the tools they need to create their own success.”
“Scalable, early-stage technology companies and their supporting manufacturing play a crucial role in the growth and vitality of our nation,” said Susan Springsteen, Co-founder of nth Solutions and President of H2O Connected. “As someone who is part of a team that developed a technology concept-to-commercialization ecosystem at the nth Innovation Center in Coatesville, I was excited to host Congresswoman Houlahan and Administrator Guzman at our facility, and personally thank them for their support of small businesses during the pandemic and now as we look to the future.”
nth Solutions has internship opportunities for high school students interested in manufacturing.
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