Since taking office, President Trump has experienced a fair amount of pushback in getting his nominees approved. One notable exception is Linda McMahon of Connecticut, who was confirmed by a 81-19 vote to head the Small Business Administration (SBA). Interestingly, both Connecticut senators who defeated McMahon in subsequent elections—Richard Blumenthal in 2010 and Chris Murphy in 2012—supported the nominee.
So what does this mean for the small business community? Jeremy Quittner offers some perspective in his article, 6 Things Linda McMahon Plans to Do for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses. His insights and my observations of those insights are as follows:
- Keep The Small Business Association Independent
In 2012, the Obama administration floated the idea of merging it with the Commerce Department. McMahon supported the idea at the time, which would have eliminated the agency she now heads.
- Strengthen The Small Business Association’s Office Of Advocacy
“…She would use the Office to tackle any new or existing regulations that prove too burdensome to small-business owners.” Given the President’s executive order to eliminate two regulations for every one enacted, this might bode well for the small business community.
- Enact Faster Disaster Recovery
Given that some conservative groups recommend removing disaster recovery loans from the SBA entirely, the question remains as to the sustainability of this commitment. The President has indicated that he intends to increase military spending by more than $50 billion while eliminating costs on domestic programs.
- Improve Financial Literacy
“..Too many (young entrepreneurs) are coming up with great ideas for business, but too many lack a basic knowledge of finance.” I agree here, and I point out that the continued growth of the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry is due in large part to the uptick in entrepreneurial ventures over the last few years.
- Offer Support For Disadvantaged Business
“McMahon would increase federal contracting opportunities for women and other minority businesses.” This may be a challenge given the political climate. Also, to improve on the success of her predecessor, the Mexican born Maria Contreras-Sweet might make this a tall order to fill.
- Provide More Federal Contracting Opportunities For All Small Businesses
Given that small business misallocation (i.e., Fortune 500 companies landing contracts intended for small businesses) is an ongoing problem, addressing this issue should be a top priority for this administration.
More than one politician has quipped “Small business is the backbone of America.” If new Small Business Administration Chief Linda McMahon can follow through on her agenda, then America should be better off for it.