Now more than ever, we know the economic impact that small businesses have on our communities, resulting in a culture shift that supports American-made products.
That is why at the Small Business Administration, under President Biden and Administrator Guzman, we are kicking off “Build America, Buy American” to continue to support the small businesses that create every 2 out of 3 net jobs. The goods and products manufactured by members of our community not only contribute to our nation’s economic recovery, but they help create local jobs.
The June Jobs Report demonstrates the resiliency of American entrepreneurs. The private sector has not only recovered all the jobs lost during the pandemic, but it also added more jobs, achieving historic low levels of unemployment.
The strength of our job market proves our economy can tackle today’s challenges.
For example, entrepreneur Jales A De Mello, born in Brazil, started his business in Riverside, California 22 years ago, as a one-man operation restoring and upgrading transit buses and shuttle vans.
Mello reached out to the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for counseling on his business and government contracts. Mello developed a relationship with the SBDC counselor over 10 years where he was able to get counseling to support the growth of his manufacturing business and overcome the hurdles presented along the way.
Today, his company, Aleph Group, Inc., employs 23 and manufactures mobile medical units, such as medical and dental clinics, bloodmobiles, modular hospitals, and other specialty vehicles.
Aleph Group, Inc. is a prime example of a company that creates jobs in America while helping other companies, medical professionals, and municipalities create additional jobs to better reach underserved communities. The mobile medical units they manufacture allow medical professionals to broaden their coverage area, caring for underserved communities right where they live.
The pandemic increased the demand for mobile medical units. Municipalities across the nation launched mobile vaccination clinics in an effort to deliver equitable access to vaccines across the nation.
In Riverside County, manufacturing is the third-largest industry, playing a crucial role in the makeup of the community made of a Hispanic majority, with a median age of 32, and average household income of $91k.
The proximity to two major seaports makes exporting attractive for small businesses looking to join the international market. At SBA, we have a team dedicated to assisting small businesses looking to export.
In 2005, Aleph Inc. Its accomplished first international sale to a client in Doha, Qatar for a 40-foot-long customized bloodmobile. To date, the company has completed export sales in countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai, Doha, Nigeria, Angola, Israel, Chile, Mexico, Peru and the Philippines. International sales represent 60 percent of AGI’s total sales.
At SBA, it is our job to ensure small businesses have the resources they need to succeed, remain competitive, and help build strong local businesses that embody the principles of Build America, Buy American. That means bringing manufacturing jobs and supply chains back home to produce products, parts, and materials in the US and strengthening the policies that ensure a more level playing field for all small businesses.
As the federal agency dedicated to advancing the American dream of starting and growing a business, the SBA is uniquely positioned to create the environment to let our entrepreneurs do what they do best — power our nation’s economy and advance a vision of a future Made in America .
If you are thinking of starting a business, expanding your business, or taking your business to the international market, visit SBA.gov to get more information on local resources.
(Elmy Bermejo is the regional administrator for the US Small Business Administration’s Region IX. She oversees the agency’s programs and services in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam.)