January 15, 2014
Statement of SBE Council’s Kerrigan on the Nomination of a New SBA Administrator
Washington, D.C. — The following statement can be attributed to Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) President & CEO Karen Kerrigan regarding President Barack Obama’s nomination of Maria Contreras-Sweet as Adminstrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration:
Finally! The nomination of a new SBA Administrator has taken far too long, but it appears that Maria Contreras-Sweet is well-suited for the role. Hopefully, upon confirmation, she will reach out and more actively engage with entrepreneurs and small business organizations to listen to their ideas and concerns. For the past year or more, the SBA has gone dark in terms of outreach. Beyond effectively managing the core functions of the SBA, it is equally important that she convey to President Obama and his economic team, small business concerns about the new health care law, the state of the economy, regulatory overreach and access to capital issues. Small business owners need better policies from Washington, and if she can serve out the remainder of the President’s term as an effective advocate for their needs she can make a difference in helping to improve the challenging environment and conditions that entrepreneurs face. Certainly her experience in various facets of business finance – bank loans and private equity, for example – are a big plus for the agency. Access to capital remains a critical issue for startups and growth-oriented companies. It will be interesting to learn her views on potential SBA consolidation as this appears to have bipartisan and President Obama’s support. She will need to walk a tight-rope with the small business community on this issue if consolidation is something the President pursues. Ms. Contreras-Sweet will certainly have a full plate once or if confirmed.
SBE Council is a nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit: www.sbecouncil.org.
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