Small Businesses have been trying to elevate the SBA to cabinet level since at least 1985. I have spent a lot of time over the years on this issue. I certainly don’t know all the details on this and it is certainly not a done deal, but I love the discussion. Please see the article posted below. I would appreciate your comments.
Small Business California
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WALL STREET JOURNAL – Obama to Elevate SBA Chief
By EMILY MALTBY
JANUARY 13, 2012, 9:13 A.M. ET
President Barack Obama is expected to announce Friday that he will exercise his executive authority to elevate the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration to a cabinet-level position, according to two senior administration officials.
The announcement will come along with a broader proposal from Mr. Obama to combine the Small Business Administration with five other government offices that would become a single, streamlined agency. It was unclear if the SBA would retain cabinet-level status if the consolidation went through.
One reason for the move might be to counter any perception that small business was being slighted in the broader reorganization. The White House didn't provide details concerning whether the SBA's current administrator, Karen Mills, would be granted a higher authority or additional responsibilities as a result of her elevated position.
The senior administration officials said the decision speaks to her accomplishments at the agency, such as reducing lender paperwork for SBA-backed loans, enforcing stricter oversight of government contracting and rolling out several laws that facilitated more lending to small businesses.
The move also follows accusations by some Republicans that Mr. Obama hasn't done enough to help small businesses. The National Federation of Independent Business, the small-business lobbying group in Washington, is fighting Mr. Obama's health-care law in a lawsuit that is now before the Supreme Court.
Notable small-business advocates, including Senator Olympia Snowe (R., Maine), the ranking member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, have urged Mr. Obama to restore the SBA to cabinet level, as it was under the Clinton administration.
Previous administrations have elevate people to cabinet-level status, which is mostly a symbolic way of saying they and their subject areas are considered important.
"On every small-business issue from day one, Karen has had the president's ear," said Gene Sperling, director of the White House's National Economic Council. "She is a tenacious, tireless and effective advocate for small business."
Because banks tend to be reluctant to extend credit to risky small businesses, the SBA operates a program that makes such loans more enticing to lenders by guaranteeing a portion of each loan against default. A record $30.5 billion in these loans were extended to more than 60,000 businesses in the government's 2011 fiscal year, ending September 30.