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SBA Administrator Karen Mills Announces Her Departure

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- SBA Administrator Karen Mills today announced her departure.  Following is the note that was sent to SBA staff.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110909/DC65875LOGO)

Dear SBA Team:

After four years as Administrator of the SBA, I have let President Obama know that I will not be staying for a second term. I will stay on until my successor is confirmed to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

Serving as SBA Administrator, and seeing this Agency rise to meet the economic challenges we faced when I arrived four years ago, has been both a privilege and an honor.

As I have said to President Obama, and leaders in Congress, "We are a small agency with a big mission." We advocate for 28 million small businesses. We are responsible for the individuals who create two of every three net new jobs in our economy. And I cannot think of a better team to support these job creators.  I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone across the SBA for the work you have done to help America's entrepreneurs and small business owners during this critical juncture in our nation's history.

Four years ago, when I arrived at the SBA, America's small businesses and entrepreneurs were struggling in the face of the worst economic environment since the Great Depression – and a banking sector that was frozen.

Together, we rolled up our sleeves and went to work. And from day one, each of you stepped up and fulfilled the mission of what the Agency was created to do. And you should be proud because our accomplishments are significant.

Together, we got capital into the hands of small business owners and entrepreneurs when they needed it most. We streamlined and simplified SBA programs, in some cases taking more than one hundred pages of paperwork out of the applications for some of our loan products. 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.

Over the last four years, SBA supported more than $106 billion in lending to more than 193,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs. This includes two record years of delivering over $30 billion annually in loan guarantees. And today we are using our streamlined lending programs and products to get capital to communities that are still struggling and to fill market gaps.

We helped increase American competitiveness through an aggressive push around high growth entrepreneurship. We launched Start-Up America, passed a long-term reauthorization of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and completely transformed and streamlined our Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program. As a result, the SBIC program just had its third consecutive record-breaking year in FY12. Today, the SBA is the place where venture capital firms, start-ups and high growth entrepreneurs turn for proven tools and counseling to scale their operations and reach new markets in the U.S. and abroad.

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