SBA Administrator touts vaccine requirements as an effort to protect economy, businesses

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have been among some of the hardest hit.

“We’ve been on the ground trying to help them pivot and adapt,” said Isabel Guzman, the Small Business Association Administrator.

From PPP loans to injury disaster loans, Guzman said businesses small and large are ready to bounce back. “We’re developing an ecosystem through our partners on the ground and through our products to make sure that we can build back better for our small business.”

And part of the “Build Back Better” agenda is encouraging businesses to require COVID vaccinations.

“We know that so many businesses, especially in those high impacted industries food and beverage businesses, hotel travel and tourism, gyms, salons, have really been impacted during COVID, consumer behavior changed, the resources have been limited because their revenues have been shot,” Guzman said.

Guzman is the first Latina to serve as the lead of the Small Business Association. She said vaccinations play a crucial role in a healthy economy and President Biden’s vaccine requirements make that clear.

“It’s important that we fight this pandemic and put an end to this pandemic and that means vaccinating more people and so the Biden-Harris administration has gone from 5 percent or over 77 percent of the population with at least one vaccination and that is what’s going to reopen our economy fully and making sure or schools and our businesses can stay open to survive,” Guzman said.

Most people including, Governor Bill Lee, are awaiting details of the President’s OSHA rule requiring companies with 100 or more employees to be vaccinated.

“I’ve traveled across the country in varying states, I’ve seen small businesses really want to make sure that their employees are protected and that the customers that walk in the door can be in a safe environment so across the board vaccinations and masks small businesses bases on studies do support both of those measures.”

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