SAN DIEGO, CA -- Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet talked to NBC about steps the administration is taking to increase the number of Hispanic-owned businesses. The Latina Cabinet member, who founded the first Latino-formed bank in California over 30 years ago, spoke Friday at the the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) 31st Annual Conference.
NBC: What would you say are three things the Administration is doing to boost Latino businesses?
Contreras-Sweet: First and foremost, we’re having a more inclusive view about the Small Business Administration. We have counseling, capital and contracting opportunities and I’ve charged the SBA to make certain that we are doing the work in a very inclusive view...After the counseling then they want the capital, so I’ve met with the finance institutions to say if you want the SBA Preferred status then I need to know you are doing that with an inclusive view. The president cut out hundreds of pages of regulation. He’s cut taxes for the small business person 18 times. He’s asked me to be part of his Cabinet and amplify the voice of minority entrepreneurship.
The second piece is that we’ve actually done the hard work to change the regulations so the banks can qualify more small dollar loans that our community needs. We put in modernization systems that help the banks qualify smaller dollar loans.
The third initiative we have is that we want to make certain we want to do trade with Latin America. The president is working very, very hard on the (Trans-Pacific) Partnership and the (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership).