Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and a member of President Obama’s cabinet, has released her SBA Cabinet Exit Memo, highlighting the agency’s record of accomplishments for America’s small businesses during the eight years of the Obama Administration.
“Small businesses are the cornerstone of the American Dream. They give us the freedom to chart our own paths and live to our fullest potential. They are the engines of American job creation, creating the majority of our new jobs and are the wellspring of American innovation. Small business owners shape the character of our Main Streets and are the pillars of our communities,” Contreras-Sweet said.
“Under President Obama, we at the U.S. Small Business Administration have been fighting to ensure that America’s entrepreneurs receive the support they need to succeed with unprecedented access to capital, counseling, and record-level federal contracting opportunities. Looking back on the economic crisis the nation faced eight years ago, I am awed by the strides made by this Administration and proud of the role that the SBA team has played in supporting that progress. America’s small businesses were hit hard by the Great Recession, and we responded with a comprehensive effort to encourage entrepreneurship and bolster job creation.”
Obama Administration highlights:
· Since 2009, SBA has guaranteed a record $179 billion in small business loans, more than any other administration in history. Annual lending in SBA’s largest program, the Advantage Loan Program, is up more than 160 percent since the depths of the recession.
· Last year SBA guaranteed more than 70,000 loans, for a total of $28.9 billion, and it supported more than 694,000 jobs across the country. These loan programs now operate without any subsidy from the American taxpayer.
· Since 2010, U.S. businesses have added 15.6 million jobs, and the nation has seen the longest streak of total employment growth in history. Ten million of those new jobs came from small businesses and startups.
· During President Obama’s first seven years in office, the federal government awarded more than $640 billion in federal procurement dollars to small businesses. Relative to the seven years before he took office, this represents an increase of more than $125 billion. For the past three fiscal years in a row, the federal government has met or exceeded its statutory goal of awarding 23 percent of federal contracting dollars to small businesses. Last year, the SBA led the government to an all-time high of 25.75 percent.
· SBA operates the world’s largest middle market “fund of funds” through the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program, a public-private partnership that helps qualified fund managers invest in small businesses and is now operating at zero cost to the taxpayer. SBIC program licensees have expanded access to capital for small businesses by 50 percent since 2009, raising their portfolio from $16.8 billion to a record $27.8 billion in 2016. SBICs invested more than $31 billion in small firms during the Obama Administration.
“When private sector small business lending faltered, the SBA stepped in to the breach, bridging the gaps and reaching record levels of lending support to America’s entrepreneurs. When small firms needed increased earnings to thrive and grow, we worked with small businesses to help them win record-shattering levels of contracts. When our heroic veterans needed help entering a difficult economy, we created new training programs – bringing entrepreneurial skills to more than 50,000 members of our military and their spouses. When underserved communities across the nation were struggling to rebuild, we launched a series of initiatives to boost entrepreneurship, lending, investment and innovation,” said Contreras-Sweet.
To read the complete exit memo and learn more about SBA’s record accomplishments in modernizing its programs and systems; expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs from every corner of the nation; improving support structures for entrepreneurs and catalyzing high growth, high impact startups; and broadening access to global markets through exporting visit the SBA Web site.