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Speeches

The SBA Administrator

MARIA CONTRERAS-SWEET

Entrepreneurial Equality: New Tools for a More Inclusive SBA

 

Thank you, Neera, for that kind introduction and to the entire team at the Center for American Progress for hosting us today.

I recently received a call that would change my life and move my husband and me across the country. Two months ago, President Obama tasked me with three objectives: run an effective SBA, be a strong voice for America's small businesses, and take the agency to the next level. I embraced this exciting and worthy mission, knowing small businesses are the backbone of our economy.

Keynote Address for the National Association of Guaranteed Government Lenders Annual Meeting

 

Thank you, Tony, for that generous introduction.  And thank you to Lynn Ozer, the Board of Directors, and the hard-working NAGGL staff for planning this conference.  I especially want to thank whoever had the idea to meet here in sunny Florida. As Tony mentioned, before I came to SBA, I was a business banker in Los Angeles. There were a lot of April showers in my first month in Washington, so it’s nice to be back in the sunshine talking to my fellow bankers. It feels a little like home – only, less traffic.

Keynote Address to the National Association of Development Companies Annual Meeting

 

Thank you, Sally, for that generous introduction. I’d also like to thank Beth Solomon; the board of directors; and the incredible NADCO staff for your hard work in planning this conference. I’m delighted to be with you here in Colorado Springs.  I feel like I’m among kindred spirits.

I know you’re here because you have a passion for the kind of economic development work that can transform communities. You’re mission-based lenders, and I want to be your champion in Washington because I’m one of you.

Opportunities for Women in Federal Contracting

 

Thank you for that generous introduction. And thanks to all of you for being here. This is a very special day for me. Two and a half weeks ago, Vice President Biden swore me in as the 24th SBA Administrator. President Obama even stopped by my swearing-in to welcome me and talk about the importance of small businesses to our economy.

SBA Administrator Swearing-In Ceremony

 

Thank you, Mr. Vice President, for those kind words. I also want to thank the President for his confidence and for giving me this opportunity to be an advocate for America’s 28 million small businesses. And I want to thank the members of Senate for their vote of confidence.  I look forward to working with all of the members of Congress.

SCORE 50th Anniversary

Good morning, SCORE, and happy golden anniversary! What a special occasion to be together to celebrate what this organization has meant to America’s entrepreneurs for the last 50 years. Let me start by thanking Tameka for her leadership in our Office of Entrepreneurial Development. I also want to recognize Ellen Thrasher for her passionate advocacy on behalf of the entire SCORE family.

SBA Small Business Contracting Annual Scorecard Release

Thank you, Chris, and to everyone here at the Goddard Space Flight Center for hosting us.  What a beautiful facility!

I’m so pleased to be with Senator Ben Cardin and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who’ve both been tireless supporters of small business.

The Washington Post said it well.  Senator Cardin is “sensible, tough-minded and independent.” He has “proven integrity, formidable intellect and an unstinting work ethic.” Senator Cardin is a true champion for America’s small businesses.

National Council of La Raza Annual Conference

Thank you, Enrique, for that generous introduction. Good afternoon, NCLR! It’s wonderful to be home in Los Angeles with so many friends. I want to thank Janet and Jorge for the gracious invitation to be with you – and for outdoing themselves yet again with another impactful Annual Conference.

Celebrating 50 Years of Civil Rights Leadership at SBA

Thank you, Ron, for that generous introduction, your commitment to economic growth, and your forward-looking leadership here at the Chamber.

I also want to congratulate Congresswoman Maxine Waters from the great state of California for her award and her tireless advocacy of the African-American community and black entrepreneurs in particular. And I have to acknowledge the leadership of Congressman Butterfield, who is doing incredibly important work every day on Capitol Hill as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Small Business SupplierPay Announcement

Three months ago, I took my oath at the SBA after spending most of my career as an entrepreneur and a business banker in Los Angeles. As I’ve traveled the country and asked America’s small business owners their No. 1 challenge, I get some version of the same answer.
They tell me, “Our customers love what we’re selling. Now, I just need the working capital to scale up so we can service more of them.”

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