LOCAL NEWS

SBA head visits Utah to discuss local small businesses, post-pandemic growth

Sep 16, 2022, 2:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Association, made her way to Utah for a tour of the Beehive State.

“Utah is one of the top places to do business,” Guzman said.

One of her stops was Alpha Coffee’s location in downtown Salt Lake City.

Alpha Coffee owners, Lori and Carl Churchill, said it’s thanks to the SBA their business was able to grow even during the pandemic.

“It’s a labor of love — with heavy emphasis on the labor,” Carl Churchill said.

Churchill said a conversation over coffee sparked their idea for their small business.

The Small Business Administration played a role in helping start their business.

“For us, the SBA was critical. I mean, we started our first coffee shop with an SBA loan,” said Churchill.

That’s why this meeting is special, as Guzman visited their business. In addition, she served as the keynote speaker for the Small Business Digital Alliance.

“Small businesses are obviously faced with challenges in this economy as we are all seeing inflationary pressures or the tight labor market,” Guzman said.

She said they’ve seen an upswing of small business starts across the country.

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to building the economy that works for everyone. From the bottom up, that means small businesses,” Guzman said.

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SBA head visits Utah to discuss local small businesses, post-pandemic growth