After four challenging but productive years, Small Business Administration Chief Karen Mills announced today that she is not staying for a second term.
She took the helm of the SBA at the height of the financial crisis and credit crunch, with a commitment to get more banks of all sizes to lend more to small businesses.
The 28 million small businesses backed by the agency through its various lending programs are responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S. economy. The agency also guarantees loans made to small businesses from private and other institutions.
The 7(a) Loan Program is the SBA’s primary program to help start-up and existing small businesses obtain financing when they might not be eligible for loans through normal lending channels.
Under Mills’ tenure, SBA supported more than $106 billion in lending to more than 193,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs. This includes two record years of more than $30 billion annually in loan guarantees.
“We brought more than 1,000 community banks back to SBA lending, opened our loan products to more mission-based lenders to reach communities hardest hit and secured a $20 billion commitment from 13 banks to increase their small business lending over a three-year time frame,” Mills said in a statement announcing her departure.
Mills also worked to make it easier for small businesses to apply for federal contracts and to get paid quickly once they win contracts. As a result, small businesses have accessed more than $286.3 billion dollars in federal contracts. That is $32 billion more than the previous three years, even as overall contract spending decreased during those years.
Mills will stay on until her successor is confirmed by President Obama.
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