Advocacy Appoints Joe Knilans to Serve as Advocate for Rural Affairs

Release Date: 
Friday, January 12, 2018 - 1:30pm
Release Number: 
Emily Theroux


Advocacy Appoints Joe Knilans to Serve as Advocate for Rural Affairs


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Joseph J. Knilans has been appointed to serve as the SBA Office of Advocacy’s Rural Affairs Advocate. In this role, Knilans will advocate on behalf of rural small businesses and local communities with a population of 50,000 or less around the country. He will work with small business owners, state and local government agencies, state legislators, and small business associations to help the Office of Advocacy voice the small business concerns of rural America before the White House, federal agencies and Congress.

 “Rural America has a great advocate in Joe Knilans,” said Acting Chief Counsel Major L. Clark, III. “Knilans spent the past six years working to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses in Wisconsin. This experience has well prepared him for his new role, and we are happy to welcome him to the Advocacy team.”

 “I am excited about the opportunity to amplify the voices of rural small businesses and communities in Washington, D.C. Small businesses are the backbone of rural America, and I am honored to work on their behalf,” said Knilans. 

Knilans comes to Advocacy with an extensive background in government, regulations and business advocacy.  Previously, he served as the deputy director in the Office of Business Development for the state of Wisconsin. In this role, Knilans worked with the business sector and state government agencies to reduce burdensome regulations. Knilans will be located in SBA’s Wisconsin District Office.

The Office of Advocacy has regional advocates to represent each of the 10 federal regions, and a Rural Affairs Advocate who represents rural areas in all regions. The advocates help identify new issues and concerns of small business owners. They work closely with local government officials, state officials and legislators, and the Chief Counsel for Advocacy to develop programs and policies that support small business growth.


Created by Congress in 1976, the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government.  Appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the Chief Counsel for Advocacy directs the office.  The Chief Counsel advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policy makers.  Economic research, policy analyses, and small business outreach help identify issues of concern.  Regional Advocates and an office in Washington, DC, support the Chief Counsel’s efforts.  For more information on the Office of Advocacy, visit, or call (202) 205-6533.