Friday, December 16, 2005

John Kerry: SBA Needs to Help Gulf Coast Instead of Holding Press Conferences

With SBA Administrator Hector Barreto on his way to Capitol Hill for yet another press conference to spin away the SBA's failure to help small businesses in the Gulf Coast devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Senator John Kerry, top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, issued the following statement:

“This administration should be ashamed of the SBA's response to Katrina. Hector Barreto is not doing a heck of a job. Out of more than 300,000 applications, they've only approved 20,251. Small business owners throughout the Gulf Coast are still hurting months after Katrina, but the Small Business Administration's leadership is offering them only hurricane force spin. There's no sense of urgency, no understanding of the challenge that lies ahead. For the SBA Administrator to stand up and brag about their success completely ignores what's happening in the Gulf Coast. Administrator Barreto needs to either lead, or get out of the way. They need to stop stalling and stonewalling and make the Republican Congress pass our Small Business Relief legislation to help the Gulf Coast.”

In related news today, the top Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, Rep. Nydia Velazquez called on the head of the Small Business Administration to quit immediately.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez said a flood of missteps by the SBA this year make it clear that Hector Barreto isn't capable of leading the agency. Barreto, said the New York congresswoman, "has simply run SBA straight into the ground."


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