Vice President Kamala Harris is championing the achievements of small businesses and the positive impact of “Bidenomics” as President Biden gears up for the 2024 election.

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Santa Monica Restaurant

During a visit to a Santa Monica restaurant, Alfalfa, Harris, Small Business Administration head Isabella Casillas Guzman, and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) emphasized the administration’s efforts to strengthen the Community Advantage Program. Established in 2011, this program assists entrepreneurs in securing capital for their businesses, with a particular focus on underserved communities.

Harris highlighted the importance of the Community Advantage Program, which provides support and access to capital for small businesses, addressing the challenges they often face when securing traditional bank financing. The program, extended through 2023 and expanded under the Biden administration, increased loan maximums and opened doors for more financial institutions to become Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders.

During the visit, Harris showcased Alfalfa, a Santa Monica restaurant known for its salads, as a success story. The co-founders, Andrew Arrospide, Daniel Londono, and Daniel Sobsey, shared their experience of initially being rejected by banks and investors when seeking funding for their expansion to the West Coast. However, according to AOL News, they secured a Community Advantage loan in 2021 and a loan from the American Rescue Plan’s Revitalization Fund.

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The Santa Monica stop allowed Harris to reinforce the Biden administration’s commitment to supporting small businesses as part of its economic strategy. The Community Advantage Program has effectively provided loans to underrepresented business owners. Notably, it has facilitated access to capital for Black and Latino entrepreneurs, who have historically faced barriers in obtaining traditional loans.

Harris emphasized that “Bidenomics” is centered on growing the economy from the middle out and the bottom up rather than a top-down approach. The administration’s focus on supporting small businesses and ensuring financial accessibility is reflected in the success of programs like the Community Advantage Program.

Despite challenges faced during the debt-ceiling impasse, where small-business assistance programs were threatened with cuts, the Community Advantage Program remained untouched. While some COVID-19 relief funds were reclaimed, the program’s vital support for small businesses continued.

As the 2024 election approaches, Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to the Santa Monica restaurant reminds me of the administration’s dedication to fostering small business growth and economic prosperity through targeted initiatives like the Community Advantage Program.

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