Senate to Hold Confirmation Hearing for SBA Head

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On Wednesday, April 1, the chair of U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), will hold a hearing on President Barack Obama's nomination of Karen Gordon Mills to be administrator of the Small Business Administration.

Mills is the founding partner and managing director of New York-based Solera Capital and the chair of Maine's Council on Competitiveness and the Economy, according to SBA's Gateway E-Gazette. Mills also worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co. and as a product manager for General Foods. She has an A.B. in Economics from Radcliff College (Magna Cum Laude) and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is the daughter of Melvin and Ellen Gordon, the husband-and-wife team who control and run Chicago-based Tootsie Roll Industries.

In other SBA news, on March 25, the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on President Obama's budget blueprint for SBA. The hearing gave SBA an opportunity to present the basics of the President's budget request and allowed members to communicate to SBA their priorities for the agency. President Obama's budget calls for an increased level of funding for the SBA over the last Administration on top of the $730 million appropriated to the agency in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"An increase in the SBA's budget and a focus on revitalizing the agency are welcome changes proposed by the Administration," said Sen. Landrieu. "Last week, this Committee heard from small business owners unable to get loans and maintain lines of credit to keep their doors open. In some cases, even after never missing a payment in years, Main Street businesses are losing their credit lines and are cut off from the capital they need to survive and grow. I am pleased the SBA will have the authority to back up to $28 billion in loans and that there is support for microloans." The March 25 hearing may be viewed in its entirety at