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The Future of Federal Support for Small Businesses

Small businesses weathered recent economic challenges better than most observers expected. Yet the small business share of both gross domestic product and employment has been declining for years.

Unprecedented federal support helped businesses survive and grow during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. And the federal government will continue to offer a broad range of help with capital access, developmental services, and procurement. But more than 70 years after the landmark 1953 Small Business Act, it is time to rethink how federal tools can remain relevant and effective in the face of exceptional technological, economic, financial, business, and demographic changes.

Join the Urban Institute for a forward-looking discussion on the future of federal small business supports.


Welcome and Fireside Chat:

  • Sarah Rosen Wartell, President, Urban Institute
  • April Schneider, Head of Small and Business Banking, Wells Fargo
  • Isabel Guzman, Administrator, US Small Business Administration


  • Brett Theodos, Senior Fellow and Director, Community Economic Development Hub, Urban Institute

Lightning Talks:

  • Marla Bilonick, President & CEO, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders
  • Melissa Roberts Chapman, Regional Innovation Officer, KC BioHub 
  • Doug Criscitello, Program Integrity Fellow, Arnold Ventures
  • Brian Graham, Partner, Klaros Group

This event is available for in-person or virtual participation. Please be sure to register correctly. In-person check-in will begin at 10:30 a.m. 

Funding for this event was provided by Wells Fargo Foundation. For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.


Date & Time Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Urban Institute 500 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington , DC , 20024
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Check-in will begin at 10:30 a.m.

Urban Institute Speakers
  • President
  • Senior Fellow