When it comes to job creation, think small businesses.
“Two out of every three new jobs are being created by small businesses,” Maria Contreras-Sweet, the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, said Tuesday in an interview with syracuse.com during a visit to Syracuse.
That’s not to say that large businesses are not important to job growth, however. Contreras-Sweet said small businesses benefit greatly from the supply chains created by big corporations.
Nevertheless, the agency she heads promotes the growth of small businesses by guaranteeing portions of loans that banks give to entrepreneurs to start, acquire and expand small businesses. It backed $29 billion of small business loans to entrepreneurs last year.
Contreras-Sweet said the agency is trying to make it easier for small businesses to obtain SBA-backed loans by streamlining the application process and eliminating fees for loans of less than $150,000.
In remarks Tuesday morning to Syracuse University’s Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship 2015 conference at the Carrier Dome, she encouraged women to go into business for themselves and to expand businesses they own.
She also toured Syracuse University’s Institute of Veterans and Military Families and hosted a small business roundtable focused on integrating veterans into the small business community. The SBA’s Boots to Business program, which the university helped to develop, has trained 25,000 transitioning service members since it started in January 2013.
Contreras-Sweet has been SBA administrator and a member of President Obama’s cabinet since April of 2014. Prior to her appointment, she founded the first Latino-formed commercial bank in California in more than 35 years and started a venture capital firm that invested in small businesses.
April 21, 2015