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Speeches

The SBA Administrator

MARIA CONTRERAS-SWEET

Manufacturing Day

Good morning, everyone. I’m delighted to be here in Milford at First State Manufacturing – one of the SBA’s proudest success stories – to celebrate National Manufacturing Day. Today’s gathering is one of 1,500 events happening across America to shine the spotlight on 21st century manufacturing. To put that into perspective: It’s double the number of events held on National Manufacturing Day last year.

Americas Society / Council of the Americas Forum

Thank you for that kind introduction and for the invitation to be here today to talk about the growing role that small businesses play in our trading relationship with Mexico. Let me start by acknowledging that the Americas Society and Council of the Americas have been indispensable thought leaders in this area, and your work has helped to strengthen and expand North American commerce.

White House African-American Faith Leaders Briefing

Good afternoon.  It’s wonderful to be with you. I want to thank the Valerie Jarret and White House Office of Public Engagement – and Ashley Allison, in particular – for organizing today’s briefing.

Let me begin by asking for a show of hands. How many of you saw the President’s speech at the U.N. yesterday? I’d like to share some of what he said:

“Many Faces, One Dream" LGBT Leaders Summit

Good morning and welcome. I’d like to open today by going out on a limb and saying I think we all have something profound in common. Eugene, Sharon, you, me, and President Barack Obama. We all believe America is about inclusion. That belief is core to who I am, and I know it’s at the core of the President’s value system, too.

I immigrated to this country at the age of 5 from Mexico, not speaking a word of English. Yet I was able to start three businesses, and now I have a seat in cabinet of the President of the United States. In no other country in the world is my story possible.

National HUBZone Conference

Good morning.  Thank you, Chairwoman Bailey, for that warm introduction and thanks to you and your fellow Board members for all of your hard work. I also want to recognize Mark Crowley for his dedicated, thoughtful leadership of the HUBZone Contractors National Council. I’m told about one-third of our entrepreneurs who are here today are new to the program, so let me just affirm the critical role that this Council plays to promote economic development and job growth by helping companies like yours get federal contracts.

AARP Ideas@50+ Conference

Thank you, Jeannine, for that generous introduction and for your outstanding leadership as AARP Board President.  It’s great to share the stage with a fellow Californian. I know you all had options today about which speaker to see, and I understand the competing presentation was part of the “travel and lifestyle” track. The fact that you chose the “money and work” track lets me know this is my kind of crowd. Thank you all for coming. 

SBA’s Growth Accelerator Fund Award Announcement

Thank you for that generous introduction. It’s great to be on a California university campus, as a Cal State-LA alum myself.  I’m proud to be here in La Jolla representing the Obama administration. Thank you all for coming.

The economic leadership we’re seeing here at UC-San Diego is extraordinary. It’s the reason we’ve chosen this campus to make some national news about an important new initiative to support America’s innovators in their efforts to create small business start-ups.

Made in Rural America

Thank you Martha for that generous introduction and to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners for hosting us today. I also want to thank Doug McKalip of the White House Domestic Policy Council for his incredible leadership on issues facing rural America and rural entrepreneurs, in particular. And Phil Karsting, who runs the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service and has been instrumental in promoting ag exports. A special thank you to Tara Rice from the USDA, who has done yeoman's to put this event together.

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.

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