SBA Administrator Guzman and Congressman Greg Landsman at Rover the Rhine, a veterinary clinic serving downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine. Photo provided


Isabella Guzman, Administrator of the United States Small Business Administration was recently  invited by Congressman Greg Landsman (D-OH-1stD) to Southwest Ohio to tour small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, to celebrate August as Black Business Month.

“It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with Ms. Guzman at the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce,” said Eric H. Kearney, president of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce. “She discussed federal resources that are available to help our businesses to thrive.”

The visit was meant to highlight how President Biden’s Investing in America economic agenda has led to a historic small business boom in Ohio.

To start the day, Administrator Guzman and Congressman Landsman had breakfast at Sleepy Bee Restaurant in downtown Cincinnati before participating in an Investing in America Small Business Roundtable hosted by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, where Administrator Guzman and Congressman Landsman were able to hear firsthand from local leaders and entrepreneurs about the issues business owners in southwest Ohio face every day. 

Following the roundtable, Administrator Guzman and Congressman Landsman visited Rover the Rhine, a full-service veterinary hospital in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, to meet with its owner, Dr. Kamaria Catalan (“Dr. Cat”). With a second location in Anderson Township, Rover the Rhine is a Black and woman-owned small business. To finish off the morning, Administrator Guzman and Congressman Landsman stopped by AJL Group, a woman-owned roofing and construction company, to learn more about their operations and current projects. 

In the afternoon, Administrator Guzman and Congressman Landsman had lunch at local favorite Just Q’in BBQ, a Black-owned business, before ending the day at Water Lily Learning Center LLC. A five-star rated childcare facility, Water Lily Learning Center serves hundreds of children in the Cincinnati area, with the vast majority of students receiving state assistance. Center Director Regina Morris provided a tour of the facility as well as an overview of their services and operations. 

President Biden’s first 31 months in office have been the greatest period for new small business growth in American history, with 13.1 million new business applications nationwide, including 355,800 in Ohio alone. 

Landsman said, “The visit by Guzman was meant to build strong coalitions. Minority-owned businesses are facing a number of challenges, namely access to affordable capital and a workforce shortage. These are big priorities in our work on the House Small Business Committee and alongside the Small Business Administration.

“This to me is the best part of the job: meeting people where they are and learning how we can be more helpful.

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