SBA Administrator and Congressman Visit Las Cruces

By Katie Knipe | March 6, 2023

On February 22, Isabel Guzman – the 27th SBA Administrator – and Congressman Gabe Vasquez, visited Las Cruces to meet with small business owners on the ground. A highlight of their visit was Full Circle Mushrooms, owned by WESST Client Ximena Zamacona. They spent time learning about Full Circle’s business journey and their process for growing mushrooms, as food for the community and to help regenerate the local ecosystem.

After speaking directly with business owners along Main Street, Guzman and Vasquez hosted a small business roundtable at Cruces Creatives makerspace. “The roundtable featured a diverse array of small businesses, who discussed their successes, challenges and ways the SBA could better support small businesses,” Vasquez’s office said in a news release. “There are over 150,000 small businesses in our state, and they account for 99 percent of all businesses in New Mexico,” Vasquez said. “Our national economy – and our local economies – are built on the backs of small businesses. That’s why I’ve hosted a series of small business roundtables in diverse communities over the last month. My goal is to ensure that we can build local, generational wealth by supporting entrepreneurship. Understanding their challenges, as well as their successes, allows me to support policies that directly impact job creation in New Mexico. One thing is clear – we need to ensure that SBA’s resources are well-known and accessible to all of New Mexico, especially our rural communities across the district,” he said.

Guzman referenced President Biden’s recent State of the Union address in which he commented, “every time somebody starts a small business, it’s an act of hope.” WESST is proud to partner with the SBA to help foster this hopeful, entrepreneurial spirit among New Mexico’s residents. Together, we’re focused on supporting all entrepreneurs with great ideas so they have the opportunity to succeed!

About the Author


Katie Knipe

Katie Knipe is the VP of Development for WESST and has worked in nonprofit management and arts administration for the past decade. She has dedicated her career to fundraising for organizations whose missions fuel her fire, including those who promote classical music performance and who serve people experiencing homelessness.

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