Karen Mills SBA Update: "Our Progress and Partnership"
Monday, June 15, 2009
Dear SBA Partner,
It has been a pleasure to meet so many SBA partners during my first few months as Administrator. Through my interactions with you and your organizations, I have gained a deeper understanding of the diversity, strength and size of the SBA “bone structure” that extends throughout the nation. I have also learned that the success of our agency depends largely on your support, your counsel and your commitment to serving as our partners to drive the SBA mission.
In a recent speech at National Small Business Week here in Washington, DC, I discussed three major priorities for the SBA:
- Implement the Recovery Act,
- Revitalize the SBA itself, and
- Make the SBA the strongest possible voice for small business in the U.S.
We have made great progress since the passage of the Recovery Act. We increased our guarantee and reduced fees, and loan volumes went up 30% putting more than $4.3 billion of new liquidity into the hands of small businesses. Also, more than 400 lenders made loans who had not participated since October 2008. And on June 15th we will begin lending through our American Recovery Capital (ARC) program. These $35,000 loans are designed to provide a “bridge over troubled water” to viable small businesses which need just a little extra help to make it through these difficult times.
To revitalize the SBA, we are investing in our people and information systems, the core of our agency. As our long term partners, you will be part of that effort by helping us work more seamlessly with our lenders, borrowers and networks. And I hope you will also help us collaborate in more effective ways as we work together going forward.
Finally, the SBA is engaged in critical policy discussions across the Administration. We are working with the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Veterans Affairs on issues of mutual concern. We are also engaged in the discussions on health care, the number one issues of concern for small businesses, and innovation and how to create 21st Century jobs, many of which will be in small businesses.
From what I’ve experienced so far, I know our goals are achievable due to the values and ideals we share. Together, we can ensure that America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners have the tools they need not only to keep the doors open during difficult economic times… but also to grow, create jobs, and lead our country out of recession as they have done time-and-time again throughout U.S. history.
We look forward to your energy, your ideas and your participation as we move ahead with these important initiatives. Together we will lay the foundation for small businesses to grow and prosper and keep America competitive in the years ahead.
With best regards,