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.”
Buenos tardes. Good afternoon. Thank you, Tony, for that gracious introduction and to Brent and the incredible LULAC staff for all their hard work in planning this year’s national convention. I also want to congratulate Margaret Moran for her four years of outstanding leadership of LULAC and her great work in San Antonio.
I’m delighted to be with you today. This has been an incredible journey for me. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to serve as SBA Administrator and be a champion for America’s small business owners.
Let me start by recognizing Marie Johns, our fabulous Deputy Administrator. She is doing amazing work for small businesses around the country. She is a proven leader, a change agent and a tireless advocate for your businesses.
National Small Business Week is one of my favorite times of the year. I love hearing your stories. Learning about your businesses. It truly is inspiring.
Thank you, Saul. Not only for that kind introduction, but for the work that you and your colleagues at the Business Innovation Factory do to fuel an environment where entrepreneurs can grow and succeed.
I know you also have a new book coming out later this month about the importance of adapting business models to changing times – and I look forward to reading it.
Thank you. It’s truly an honor to be here this evening.
Let me quickly recognize those who make this event possible: My friend John Berry. Let me also thank the State Department for hosting us. As well as Carol Bonosaro and her team, who work so tirelessly to make sure this event is a success.
Please give them a round of applause.
And I would like to congratulate all of you. You are receiving the civil services highest honor—Presidential Distinguished Rank.
Good morning everyone. Thank you for that kind introduction Rear Admiral (Philip) Cullom. It's great to be here with all of you.
If it hasn't already been said this morning, I'll say it now. Happy Birthday to the U.S. Navy.
On this date in 1775, our Continental Congress enacted America's first-ever naval legislation. It authorized the formation of a Naval Committee, and the procurement of the first 2 vessels to help fight our Revolutionary War for Independence.
Thank you, Ellen. It’s always a pleasure to be introduced by the CEO of a great American company like DuPont. It’s great to be in this facility, which shows how advanced manufacturing and innovation can help us out-compete the rest of the world.
It’s good to be with businesses here in Raleigh-Durham that continue to build even more great American companies.