may be a while before we find out.
the range of cabinet
picks now under way with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team,
the chief of the Small Business Administration is sure to rank pretty low.
up the 63-year-old-agency isn’t, after all, a high profile position such as
Treasury Secretary or Secretary of State; in fact, it took more than a year for
the most recent administrator to be nominated and confirmed.
the SBA is vital in terms of economic development. During the financial crisis,
the agency saw itself elevated to a cabinet-level position under administrator
Karen Mills. At the time, the SBA was instrumental in unfreezing credit markets
for small-business borrowers, and encouraging banks to lend through its
guaranteed loan program. Today, the SBA has a loan portfolio, including its
flagship 7(a) and 504 loans, of $124 billion. That financing, plus its
counseling, educational and technical assistance, is a critical prop to
agency, which has 2,000 full-time employees, is currently led by Maria
Contreras-Sweet, a former entrepreneur and transportation and housing secretary
for the state of California. She has made boosting lending and outreach to
minority entrepreneurs a priority
during her tenure.
news report has floated Steve Chabot, chairman of the House Small Business
Committee, as a potential pick for the position, but a spokeswoman for his
office said Tuesday that there have been no conversations with the Trump
transition team about heading the agency. “Chairman Chabot believes he best
serves small businesses as a legislator and looks forward to working with the
new leadership at the SBA and the Trump Administration as a whole,” the
are three possibilities for the post, according to small-business sources.
currently leads Trump’s transition team for the SBA, according to the Trump transition
She has served both as a counselor to the deputy administrator and as an
assistant deputy administrator of the SBA under George W. Bush. She was also a
state lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, according to her public
Linkedin profile. While she lacks “big management experience,” her previous
work at the SBA makes her a likely contender, says Peter Cohan, a lecturer of
strategy and entrepreneurship at Babson College. Cohan adds that transition
team leaders are frequently considered for posts in new presidential
jewelry store owner Levell co-founded the National Diversity Coalition for
Trump, a voter outreach group that counts among its board the conservative talk
show host Wayne Dupree, and Michael Cohen, lawyer for the Trump Organization. A
former chair of the Gwinnett County GOP, LeVell has been a vocal advocate for
Trump in many of the battleground states, as well as a frequent commentator on
Fox News and CNN. “I wouldn’t rule anything out,” LeVell said when asked by Fortune
if he was being considered for the post. “I would like to see the SBA play a
constructive role as a necessary source of credit for small business.” LeVell
was also a board director for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority
is the former chief executive of S.W. Jack Drilling Company, reportedly one of
the largest land based, family-owned gas and oil drilling company in the U.S.
The company went out of business in 2010, after which Toretti was a finance
co-chair of the Republican National Committee during the 2012 race. Toretti was
initially in charge of Trump’s transition team overseeing the SBA, as reported
by Politico in mid-November. She is currently the national
committeewoman for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.
Toretti, and the SBA transition team did not immediately respond to Fortune’s
requests for comment.
Small Business Administration declined to comment.
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