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Speeches

The SBA Administrator

MARIA CONTRERAS-SWEET

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.”

LULAC Keynote Remarks

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.

Thank you, Stan, not only for that kind introduction, but for hosting us today.

Let me also thank the IBM International Foundation for its role in creating and maintaining the technical infrastructure of Supplier Connection.

It's an exciting and potentially game-changing resource for small businesses…and I want you to know how much we appreciate your hard work.

I also want to thank the 15 participating companies for teaming up to create this innovative public-private partnership. And it's great that Facebook has signed up as the newest partner.

Thank you for that kind introduction -- and for the opportunity to address your Executive Council Winter Session.

Each of you in this room plays a vital role in ensuring that your communities are strong and successful. 

And a key part of that success—we know—is ensuring economic opportunity for your local businesses and entrepreneurs.

There are approximately 240,000 Native American-owned small businesses in the U.S today.

These businesses are critical to strengthening our economy, our communities and our middle class.

Thank you, Glenn. And thanks to Administrator Bolden and everyone at NASA.  Good morning everyone.

It’s a treat to be here because when I was a kid, one of my dreams was go into space – to be an astronaut.  I’m sure that many of you can relate.

But I grew up in a small business family.  So, as I got older, I followed a different dream.  I went to business school. I started owning, managing, and investing in small businesses across the U.S.

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.

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