Small business owners breathe sigh of relief as Obama taps SBA leader

Article by By J.D. Harrison, Washington Post

It had been nearly a year since the White House started searching for a new leader for the Small Business Administration, and more than four months since the former top executive gave up the wait and departed, leaving the agency in the hands of a more-than-capable but not-quite-official interim leader.

During that time, the complex health care law rolled out, hundreds of new federal regulations were proposed and implemented, and at one point, the federal government actually ground to a complete halt. Meanwhile, lawmakers started mulling whether the government even needed a stand-alone small-business department.

So, when the president finally introduced Maria Contreras-Sweet as his nominee for Small Business Administrator on Wednesday, you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief coming from Main Street. And it turns out, small business owners, lenders and lobbyists aren’t just excited to have a nominee on deck — most we spoke to are excited about the president’s selection, too.

Here’s a sampling of what we heard from the small business community in response to the announcement, and as you’ll notice, many took the opportunity to emphasize the agency’s vital role.

Beth Solomon, president of the National Association of Development Companies, an advocacy group for small-business lenders: “We are very pleased to welcome a new administrator, especially a community banker, to lead the critical work of the SBA, which has been a lifeline for America’s small businesses in these economically challenging times. While Wall Street is thriving, Main Street urgently needs the nation’s focus and support to create the jobs America needs. This nomination is a step in the right direction.”

Click here to read the entire article.